Digital Ink

Byte-sized Notes

Welcome To My Notebook.

And the question is, how did you end up here? What were you looking for? Whatever it was - or is -, I hope the bytes you are downloading will give you some of the answers you were looking for. If not, ascribe it to the caprices of the internet and its seach engines, and I wish you luck in your research endeavours. In the meantime, you may as well take a peek since you're here.

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New Zealand in a WRX – Banks Peninsula

Posted By on July 16, 2010

New edition of the “New Zealand in a WRX” feature!

Or, in other words, another video =)

I’ve decided to put them on YouTube instead, apparently getting a Windows Media Player plugin is hard…

(You know who I’m talking about! 😛 :D)

So, without further ado:

And part II:

Yep, that’s the downside of YouTube, only 10 minutes tops…

I do wonder why though, I mean, if they give a 2 Gb limit and one can upload High Definition… Why do they care how long the video is?

It’s a mystery!

New Zealand in a WRX! – Part I

Posted By on July 11, 2010

Well, what can I say, cold weather + sleep-induced weirdness (thanks to the World Cup showing at horribly early times here on TV) + computer = Weirdness.

What weirdness? Well, I did make these videos some time ago for the heck of it (in February, when I went all over the South Island) but decided to give them a tweak and put them here on the web log. Ever wanted to take a roadtrip through New Zealand? Now’s your chance!

I did speed it up a fair bit, I realized after a while that 2 hours of real time driving across anywhere isn’t exciting by any standards. I can’t say how much I sped it up though, some parts go faster than others – thank VirtualDub for how easy it makes all this editing. The video + music were put together with the Windows Live Movie Maker afterwards. Still trying to tweak the quality settings, unfortunately WLMM is not as good as the old Windows Movie Maker in that respect.

First instalment: Queenstown!

 

 

I Can’t Stop Watching

Posted By on May 18, 2010

It’s like watching a triple coronary bypass in the making, real-time.

Food from HELL.

That has to be the most awesome website ever. EVER. I can’t stop watching.

*Keeps munching low-fat grilled fish with capers and lemon marinade*.

Still re-writing!

Posted By on April 16, 2010

I’ve had a rather bad day (flu vaccine making me mildly sick, ironically enough), but I’ve gotten some writing done. Alice is currently talking with the smoking caterpillar worm on the smoking computers, after narrowly escaping the White Rabbit’s home.

I may be easily amused, but I find the whole thing hilarious…

I have also been writing something else for my own amusement. Are you a fan of Star Wars? If yes (or no, but still know enough about it), do you know what a Sarlacc is?

The Sarlacc.

Well, as it turns out, due to a rocky combination of random events, I’ve been writing the Diary of a Sarlacc Enforcer, detailing the day-to-day life of a Sarlacc living in the middle of the desert. It’s great to let one’s megalomaniac side – with a bit of gallows humour – out every now and then.

And I have learned I have to read Kurt Vonnegut, yay books!

Re-write!

Posted By on March 28, 2010

So I’ve been busy with several things lately.

No, not the three week holidays on the South Island (and the 400 pictures I should classify one of these days).

I just got this idea while from the usual nonsense banter on Facebook. Here’s a teaser (it’s turning out to be more of an effort than I thought it’d be):

alice@wonderland

Chapter I. Down the Cyberspace.

Alice was getting quite tired of sitting by her sister at the desk, and having nothing to do. She was using the family computer to do research on the Internet, or so she said. But Alice had peeked over her sister’s shoulder and had seen only text on the computer screen, ‘and what use is the Internet,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or videos or sound?’

So she took her cute little laptop out and set it by her sister. It wasn’t as good as the family computer, and the pages always loaded dreadfully slow, but at least she could look at Twitter or Facebook, and hoped one of her friends may be doing something interesting.

She only had one little message waiting for her on her Facebook page. There was nothing so very peculiar about it, she always had messages waiting. But this one came from someone not in her friends list.

‘Now, now, remember not to open e-mails from strangers.’ She told herself. She usually gave herself very good advice, but the hot day was making her sleepy and slow, and her ideas were more tumbling out of her brain than flowing into it. ‘But I guess if I was to meet him, he wouldn’t be a stranger, and then I could open the e-mail.’

A click of the mouse took her to her correspondent’s page, and she was quite startled to see it belonged to a White Rabbit. He seemed to be in a real hurry too, because his wall looked something like this:

White Rabbit I’m going to be late!
Today at 16:45.

White Rabbit Heavens! I’m so late!
Today at 16:44.

White Rabbit Oh dear, dear! This is such a bother, to be so late!
Today at 16:43.

White Rabbit I’m late! Goodness gracious, I’m so late!
Today at 16:42

Curious, because she had never seen a Rabbit on Facebook, or known one who would keep track of time and even be late for it, she decided to become a follower.

Instantly her Facebook home started to get filled with messages from the Rabbit, saying one way or another how late he was going to be.

‘He ought to leave in a hurry,’ Alice told herself, ‘instead of posting on Facebook how late he is.’

Perhaps it hadn’t occurred to him, so Alice opened a chat with the White Rabbit. But he would close it immediately, after remarking the late hour and how little time he had.

‘But he should leave then! Oh if only I could reach and tell him…’

Alice reached for the screen of her laptop, and plop went her hand through it, followed by the arm, and the shoulder, and soon Alice found herself sucked into the screen, and down she went along the Rabbit’s Facebook page.

‘And isn’t it a curious thing!’ thought Alice to herself, ‘this way I can just see without having to scroll down! How convenient! But now I’m at the bottom of the page, and I’m still falling. Well, goodbye then, Facebook’ she chirped as the page disappeared high above her head, ‘and what a long way to fall this is, to think I was so scared of the terrace in our house! I should think nothing of it if I were to fall from it after this!’

Down she went, little fluttering lights and pixels rushed past her, and yet it didn’t seem to Alice that she was falling at such great speed. ‘I must be falling through the pipes of the Internet. I wonder why I haven’t seen any turns yet, how should I know which way to go to Germany, and which way to go to Japan? It is no wonder I am falling so fast, I hear we run the internet at one hundred megabits –‘ (for, you see, Alice had learned many grand-sounding words, which she was fond of using when appropriate, and even though there was nobody to impress there, it was good practice to do so) ‘– I wonder how many miles per hour that is?’ (Alice had no idea how the units related, but as they were always talking about how fast the Internet was, she thought there had to be a connection somewhere).

NaNoWriMo is over!

Posted By on December 1, 2009

And guess what!

I'z a winner!

I'z a winner!

That’s right, I won! I had to do a marathon on the last weekend (20,000 words in one weekend is quite a bit!), but I managed, go me! 🙂

NaNoWriMo!

Posted By on November 3, 2009

Also known as “National Novel Writing Month.” November is packed with stuff!

So, I have signed up for it, and I will be writing a “novel” this month. Note the quotes, because I don’t expect it to be too good. See, the whole exercise is aimed at writing fast and furiously, 50,000 words in a month, with little thought of reviewing or careful planning. Write an outline if you want, and then it’s just sitting down and typetypetype…

That’s not a problem for me though. I am never scared of a blank piece of paper, there is always some idea in the back of my head, and I can always just plop something on paper.

What I can’t vouch for is the quality of the writing if I don’t do reviewing and just use what has been aptly described as the “kamikaze approach.” should be fun anyway.

Oh, and of course, linky! http://www.nanowrimo.org/.

Offroad!

Posted By on July 4, 2009

No, not a cooking post!

We are in the middle of winter here (shortest day of the year is 21st of June, since we’re upside down and all that).  So when the forecast predicted a sunny day for the weekend, I seized the chance, jumped in my WRX, and headed somewhere fun.

I decided to drive East. Hawke’s Bay is usually the sunniest place in the North Island, and it didn’t disappoint!

Of course, it did take a while to get there. It may or may not have something to do with the tasty gravel roads one can travel to get there *cough*

Then again, the number of sealed backroads is surprisingly high, so it kind of alternates between gravel and non-gravel. Still, much fun was had, and I think I may need new brakes soon, I did give them a bit of a workout.

Pictures! I need a better solution to take pictures from the car…

Apple and Quince Tatin

Posted By on June 11, 2009

“What’s a Tatin?” You may ask. A Tarte Tatin is a kind of cake made “upside down”. Legend has it (I haven’t bothered verifying if it’s true) that two French sisters wanted to cook an apple pie, but they were a bit on the light headed side, and while they prepared the apples beautifully, they forgot to put the actual pie shell in the oven with the apples. Realizing their mistake halfway through, they put some puff pastry on top to try and salvage the pie, and they came up with a very delicious pie. Well, this is but a variation of that. What will we need?

Ingredients for the Tatin

Ingredients for the Tatin

So, we need:

  • Apples.
  • Quinces.
  • Butter/Margarine.
  • Sugar.
  • Optionally: Lemon, Cinammon, Anything else you may want to put into the caramel we are going to prepare first.
  • Not shown: Your favourite kind of pastry (the traditional uses puff pastry, but I use sweet short pastry because I like it :D)

Start with chopping up the quinces and apples:

Chop them apples!

Chop them apples!

As you can see, The chunks are nicely chunky, we don’t cut the apple finely like it’s done often in other kinds of apple pies. Notice the pot I’m going to use in the oven, and how the bottom is covered with caramel! The caramel is easy enough to make: Put a cup of sugar or two (depending on the size of your tatin) in a pot with some water, stir until caramelized and browned. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice if you want, or anything else you like putting in homemade caramel.

Now, the important part: Arrange the apples nicely so that you leave as little space as possible, you want them to be tightly packed! Also, add a few nuggets of butter here and there because the apples will need butter to cook properly. Buttery goodness!

Pack 'em well!

Pack 'em well!

Now, preheat the over to 150°C and in the apples go. It’ll take 20-30 minutes until they cook as much as I want them to cook before adding the pastry. Yes, the famous French sisters didn’t notice the missing pastry for like half an hour 🙂

The apples ready!

The apples ready!

Now, we want to cover it with the pastry. Not just cover it, you have to fold the pastry on the sides so that it’s enveloping the apples nicely. Try to make the apples as evenly flat as possible, and make sure the pastry goes well on the sides to wrap them well!

Wrapped pastry.

Wrapped pastry.

As you can see, I stabbed the pastry with a fork repeatedly. This way you won’t have steam bubbles forming under the pastry and it will cook evenly. Back into the oven for another 30 minutes or so (it will depend on your particular oven and pastry). I put it to 180°C for the last 10 minutes to cook the pastry well. The result?

Taa-daa!

Taa-daa!

We’re almost there! An upside-down pie won’t be much good, will it? We have to flip it! First off, very carefully run a knife on the edge to make sure the pastry isn’t stuck to the oven pot anywhere. Afterwards, put a plate on top and flip it! Shake it and hit it a few times (carefully please) to make sure it has all come off, and you’re done! It’s likely that a few of the quince or apple pieces have stuck to the pot, but they’ll come off easily enough, all you have to do is put them back on the pie and clear the presentation. The pyrex glass pots work quite well for this too.

Yummyness!

Yummyness!

You can really tell the quince pieces from the apples due to their intense colour. And also you’ll have a bit of quince jelly at the bottom (now the top) to add to the goodyness.

Bon apetit!

Updates!

Posted By on June 11, 2009

Whew! Being busy is fun! Well, some of it is fun. Part of the business has been work (when you come home late from work you don’t feel like doing much), part has been doing actual things with my time that don’t involve computers (shocking, I know!).

So what have I been up to? First off, there’s the Reel Earth Festival, which of course is finished now, but I was there with some friends for the closing weekend.

There’s the reading part, I happen to have a whole bunch of new books to go through *cough*.

There’s also the fact that it’s winter, so if by any chance we have a sunny day I take the car and go somewhere. The latest “adventure” was the back road between Woodville and Masterton, a very fun to drive gravel road. Saturday with nobody on the road = win!

So yeah, I’ve kept myself busy. Oh, and it was also Queen’s Birthday not long ago, which is a “sales with lots of % off!” day, so I took the chance to get myself some cheap games as well. Disgaea is fun!

But! There’s some backdated cooking to post about! I’ll get on to it in a bit =)