Posts filed under ‘Truly important stuff’
( Well, they probably haven’t been falling much )
A while ago I had the opportunity to try out a couple of longboards. You know a longboard is like a skateboard, only longer. It feels a lot different than a skateboard though. A skateboard is quite twitchy and requires pretty good focus. There is not a lot of room for error on a skateboard. A longboard is more relaxed. I personally do not like to stand on a skateboard at all, I just know it’s going to throw me off at an unpredictable point in space and time. But I did like the feel of a longboard very much. I also noticed it was quite a workout for my feet and knees.
So I do what I always do when I get interested in something that’s not too expensive : consume !
That’s’ right, I got myself a nice budget longboard.
And off I went riding it. Around the house a bit. A parking lot here, a basketball court there, the street. As long as it has a relatively smooth surface it can be ridden.
Today I tried to do the toeside pushup-slide. It’s supposed to be the simplest slide in longboarding. My main reason for learning this, is to have a way to stop. So I am not yet interested in a fancy 180 slide, or whatever variation this trick has to offer, I just need a way for my wheels to come to a complete stop as soon as possible.
The good news is that my protective gear was completely undamaged.
And that I did manage to pull off something where my wheels were sliding orthogonally to the natural longboard direction, for a short while.
Now excuse me, as I am going to ice my hip some more.
Oh so very recently I acquired an iPhone 3GS. My better half had gotten one for her 10th year working at her company – now that is what I call a gift – and as soon as I touched it, I was convinced. Convinced that I held the future of consumer computing. The iPhone can only be bought simlock-free in Belgium, which makes it too expensive for sure. But it’s also too cool, so you can see the dilemma I faced.
It’s almost two months since I got mine – the 16GB version – and I can most surely testify that our laptop is seldom used anymore. Mail, feeds, Facebook, browsing, reading ( Kindle for iPhone, best app ever ), music, maps, routes, text messages, photo’s, phone (duh) … it’s all right there in the palm of my hand. The only glaring omission is a banking app. That’s the main reason the laptop is still awoken from its sleep these days.
Using an iPhone is very different from using mouse and keyboard. It’s a much smoother experience. What I do have to say though, is that an iPhone generally does not lend itself to textual content creation. For example, while I used to think about blogging actively, because the laptop was always on anyway, I now discard most ideas because it would require booting the laptop.
This is not completely the iPhone’s fault however, although it has a very small keyboard, it’s just that the management interface of this blog is not adjusted to mobile devices.
Well anyway, most people don’t really get it that I seldom use the laptop anymore. Just as I wouldn’t have when someone would have told me this up-front.
Oh yeah, one last point, there is no need for any fear of malicious websites anymore. The evil codes have no idea what to do when faced with the iPhone platform.
Sometimes I like to prepare food. I would use the word ‘cook’ but that could remind you of a real cook. Someone like him
So let’s just call me a food-preparer. Basically, I like to keep it very basic, putting my faith more in my ingredients than in my own food-preparing skillzzzz.
However, how-very-much-ever, I do need to use the same utensils that actual cooks use. And my main utensil is the venerable wok.
Since I don’t have one of these bad mofo’s :
I don’t use one of these babies :
But I did use one of these beauties :
A cast-iron Le Creuset wok. Its ability to store a lot of heat, made it possible to do some reasonable wokking on a vitroceramic cooking plate.
Cleaning it afterwards is something else. The best way to do it was to fill it partly with water and some washing powder and letting it soak for a night.
And even then, you’d need to scrub and scratch until completely ready for the next session. Yes, I do know that you have to season it, by letting some arachide oil cook in it for a while.
This is something you have to repeat when the wok becomes sticky again, but mine turned sticky right away. The seasoning itself is not a pleasant task either. Would like you to keep yourself busy watching hot oil boil in a pot? Not to mention the fact that the whole house smells like a fastfood joint afterwards.
So I decided that seasoning was not for me, and continued using the sticky wok while thouroughly cleaning it afterwards.
That is why I am so happy that I have recently acquired this fly boy :
It has a non-stick Thermolon layer which can withstand temperatures of 400+ degrees celsius and is completely non-toxic. It’s also much smoother than Teflon.
If you dig in, and read the interweb reviews for Thermolon pans you will find two camps : very happy or very sad customers.
Some claim that the non-stick properties soon fade, and that the layer starts to crack.
Since I have only used it once – which great results – I can’t really comment on the long term quality. What I did find out however, is that you need to let it heat up sufficiently because some foods can stick to it at lower temperatures.
I had absolutely nothing stick to it, and cleaning it consisted of a rinse with some soapy water and a soft sponge.
So this wok is another great addition to my food preparing arsenal. I will keep you guys posted on the long term effects of food preparing on this wok.
If there are no pictures of the exterior then it probably looks like one of these :
If there are no pictures of the rooms then then they probably look like one of these :
Shift + Delete = Bad
Delete = Good
Shift + Delete = False sense of empowerment
Delete = Wise approach to one’s own fallibility
Shift + Delete = Lost forever
Delete = Still there when you need it
Shift + Delete = Old Fool
Delete = Old Skool
Shift + Delete = Clever road to utter madness
Delete = Becoming one with the universe
The only thing you need to remember is :
A while ago we moved to our new house. At last we have the space and comfort we always wanted. And comfort is relative, since several parts of the house still need to be completed. But the essential things are there. Well the essential essential things at least.
One thing that we do already have is a new tv. I have searched high and low for the optimal television set. Plowed through endless lists of specs, prices and reviews. I also went to electronics shops to see for myself what the picture quality of some of these tv’s was really worth.
The result of the search was this tv :
I ordered it online, from Redcoon.be. Its price was unbeatable for this particular model. But do your own research before buying one, things move fast on the web. Just google for ‘<thing you want> price [|prix|prijs|preise]’.
The next thing on my list was a decent set of amplifier and speakers combo. I didn’t really care for a specific setup like 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, plain stereo, biamp stereo,… It just had to be something relatively cheap – which rules out high-end receivers and speakers – and decent sounding.
And the results of the groundbreaking jury ( that’s just me in fact, there’s no real jury, I just made that up for effect, but I soon realised that this lie would not hold for long, so I just thought it better to confess right away ) are :
This device uses a technology that creates surround sound using just one speaker cabinet. Of course you need the subwoofer for the lows as well. Two features, simplicity and compatibility, made this device stand out from all the others.
It has been ordered, but not yet delivered.
So now that we have the two main devices sorted, the question poses itself : what to hook up to them? How to have a big collection of movies, music and photographs that is accessible from anywhere in the house?
Do I use small specialized pc’s? Or dedicated devices?
Do I buy a media streaming client? And a server? Or do I set this up with an old pc featuring Ubuntu? Or should I look at media disk drives?
Will I switch to Apples’s iTunes/iPod/Apple TV?
Every setup has its drawbacks and imperfections. It looks as if with current technology you should be able to make a setup that is perfectly suited to your needs, but whatever you think of, there is always a catch.
And the truly terrible thing is : whatever you eventually install, you’ll always have that nagging feeling that you did it wrong.
Next time I’ll ramble some more about possible setups and their drawbacks.
And what the hell is up with these expensive HDMI cables anyway? Don’t people realise that a digital signal is mostly an all or nothing affair over such a short distance? Either you have bytes or you don’t. The bytes don’t care about gold or nickel, shielded or unshielded, expensive or cheap. This is more than adequate.