The ice cream maker made its debut yesterday when I made some cardamom-vanilla ice cream. I modified the recipe a bit, increasing the yield to about a quart. Came out quite well, if a little on the sweet side. I used a little less than a quart of half-and-half, four egg yolks, and about 2/3 of a cup of sugar. Next time, I’d use about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of sugar. The texture is excellent, though, and the cardamom and vanilla go well together. Next on the list is blackberry.

posted September 28, 2007 – 10:27 am

Before I got laid off, I put together an entry for the company to compete in the Red Bull Soapbox Race that’s happening in Fremont this weekend. They went ahead and built the car, and we’re racing it on Saturday (I’m part of the skit & helping to push the car). You can see my original sketch here (team name: Din & Tonic). If you’re in town, come check out the race (and bring earplugs), and look for pictures here afterward.

posted September 26, 2007 – 9:56 pm

I bought one of these on eBay last week, and it arrived this morning. I’m looking forward to some tasty experiments!

posted September 25, 2007 – 1:07 pm

Shadrach did pretty well at Sectionals over the weekend, holding seed and qualifying for Regionals in just a few weeks.

It’s extremely unlikely we’ll win enough games at Regionals to qualify for Nationals, but it’ll be fun to play a lot of high-level teams, and also to watch some exciting games. Three of the top contenders in the Mixed division (rather than Open or Women’s) are in our region, and they’ve got quite a rivalry going on. I’m rooting for Shazam, and predict they’ll win it all. Given their extraordinary record so far, it’s not a very risky prediction, but they’ve worked hard to get where they are, and if they win, they’ll deserve it.

One thing I’m wrestling with these days is that I definitely have good days and less-good days when it comes to playing ultimate, and I have a hard time knowing ahead of time what kind of day it’s gonna be. The biggest difference between the two seems not to be physical, but mental – on the less-good days, I know at some level that I could be playing harder, but I just don’t. I don’t lay out for discs, I don’t run as hard as I could on defense, and I make more unforced errors. Any good sports psychology books out there that might help? Of course I’d love for every game to fall into the ‘good’ category, but I’d even settle for knowing in advance how I’ll play.

Also on the frisbee front: I’ve got a couple old discs that’re no longer usable for one reason or another (one cracked, another was thrown on to an oyster bed and torn up by the shells). I emailed Discraft to find out if they’re recyclable, but the answer is ‘no’ (apparently, they kind of plastic they use, which they wouldn’t divulge, isn’t one recyclers will accept). Maybe there are some other uses for them that’ll keep them out of a landfill – any ideas? Frisbee clocks? Bowls (like these)?

posted September 24, 2007 – 9:21 am

Drew (a Shadrach teammate) has an excellent writeup of our upcoming frisbee weekend over on his site. We had a rough practice last night, but I’m chalking it up to pre-sectionals jitters, and I’m psyched to play this weekend.

posted September 21, 2007 – 11:39 am

I had lunch today with a complete stranger, thanks to Noonhat. I think it’s a great idea in theory, and it’s simple enough that in practice, it works out pretty well. Bruce and I had a great meal at Senor Moose (way less cheesy than the name implies).

posted September 19, 2007 – 2:34 pm

The light machine is done, and I’ve put up pictures and video for your entertainment. Check it all out here. I’ve already got ideas for another version (maybe I’ll make one for myself), but I’ve got plenty of other projects (notably, the robot arm) to keep me busy in the meantime.

posted September 18, 2007 – 2:36 pm

Many of you know my biggest disappointment with Seattle is the stunning lack of good ice cream (gelato doesn’t count, and neither does Cold Stone). Though I’m a ways away from opening up my own store, a friend and I did make our own ice cream last night – cinnamon pear. It was excellent, and I’m on the lookout for a used ice cream maker so I can continue the experiment on my own. My grandparents used to have one of these – wonder if they ever come up on Craigslist.

We also went yesterday to The Fair in Puyallup, in search of deep-fried goodness. Though we ate reasonably well, it wasn’t the bounty I was hoping for – where were the deep-fried twinkies, oreos, and snickers bars I’d been promised? The mutton bustin’ did go a long way to offset the dearth of 3000 calorie foodstuffs, though. Check out some pictures here.

For those of you keeping score at home, I ate a donut for breakfast yesterday, in addition to the corn fritters, funnel cake, french fries, burger and salt water taffy that comprised lunch at the fair, and then had ice cream for dinner. Grown-up’s prerogative?

posted September 17, 2007 – 10:32 am

It’s been a little more than two months since the layoff, and a little less than a month since I started looking for work in earnest. I’ve noticed my level of motivation started significantly lower than the last time I was looking for work (two years ago when I moved to Seattle). Fortunately, I’ve found some good leads early on, which not only get me more excited about the search, may actually pan out into jobs. I’ve had a couple interviews already and more scheduled.

Work on the light machine has gone well, and it’s 99% done. Pictures soon.

Two weekends ago, Jared & Chika and I went out to North Bend to Bybee-Nims Farms for some blueberry picking. We came home with over 16 pounds of blueberries (!), so the ensuing week involved a fair amount of baking. You can see our haul and the results here.

Shadrach continues to be fun, and we’re gearing up for Sectionals in a couple weeks. We should finish second and continue on to Regionals, but you never know.

posted September 11, 2007 – 10:08 am
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