Frustration fuels growth, but also more frustration

After all my years in the “biz”, I struggled intensely to add a Windows CA to an ubuntu box today. Just goes to show you, no matter how long you’ve been doing this, or how good you are, you know nothing and its frustration all the way down!

I’ve said, repeatedly, in fact, so repeatedly that it may be etched on my tombstone, that “no one jumps out of bed in the morning to fix desktop computers.” I’ll maintain this until proven otherwise. The most passionate technicians and leaders in this industry have a demonstrable need to solve problems; the harder the better. Indeed, the most complicated solutions in hardware, software, and networking boil down to the same basic methodology: “Get it working, then we’ll go from there, eh?”

The technical level that I have achieved for myself is not a testament to the things I’ve learned. My knowledge base is informed by articles, trainings, classes, etc. My technical level is a tribute to the stress and trauma of bad solutions, wrong answers, and every question I wasn’t able to answer in a snap. I’ve wrangled my way into leading my team “my way”, which, unfortunately means, for them, that problem solving is on the menu.

If you ask me a question, and I tell you the answer, you solve it that time. If you bang your head against it, the knowledge becomes a part of who you are, and informs your decision making, your troubleshooting, your problem solving. Spending the time to get that extra value seems pretty worth it to me.

WordPress.com Integration

Sometime between the last time I regularly updated this blog and now, Red Sweater upgraded MarsEdit to a new version, and WordPress.com got their act together with JetPack and made their desktop client work.

The worst sentence on the internet, but here it goes: “I hope to blog more”. This site was super updated for a bit, and now nothing. Sad. Talk to you soon!

Peter Chou IMP-44-1040 or USP-11-150x Power Supply Rebuild

I picked up a Neo Geo 4 slot at the request of a friend (lets call it a commission work, I guess?). It had a power supply in it that was rusty and dirty and loud as can be. It was this model:

IMG 20180226 104030

Now, you can just go get a replacement for this, and thats what I did. Twisted Quarter still has them for $50 which is a spicy meatball if you’re trying to make a profit (especially since those dudes are seemingly incapable of shipping something for less than $15). So that sucks, but it is an option.

150 WATT POWER SUPPLY FOR KONAMI AND NEO GEO SNK GAMES  PS 44 1040 00  $49 99  TwistedQuarter com Arcade Parts Specialist 2018 02 26 10 47 27

Since apparently 2018 is the year of rebuilding power supplies, here’s the cap list:

Location uf v
C5 330uf 200v
C6 330uf 200v
C9 1uf 50v
C10 1uf 50v
C14 1uf 50v
C15 1uf 50v
C16 4.7uf 50v
C17 47uf 50v
C18 10uf 50v
C24 4700uf 16v
C25 2200uf 16v
C26 470uf 25v
C27 1uf 50v
C28 2200uf 16v
C29 22uf 25v

As always, Joe over at https://syracusesemiconductors.com/ was very accommodating when I emailed him to request a custom kit. I’m going to get him to try to add it to his site, but you know how that goes. How many people are actually going to recap these things?

The fan is an 80mm by 80mm by 25mm 12vdc fan, same as most of the other PSUs I rebuild (apparently). So I just used this dude from Amazon, since it sold as a 5 pack, and prime, and thats awesome.

 

Paper journaling or online journaling

Does it matter which journal you use? Online, in the form of a blog, or paper, in the form of a journal… Doesn’t matter if you ignore both! 

Quincy is still here, and he’s cute, but he’s a jerk to everyone but Laura and I. So that’s a miserable thing… Not like he’s had a steady stream of visitors, so we keep adding to the list of things that would potentially drive people away. Neat!

Picked up a DDR machine, and had a ton of fun fixing up the pads. Hopefully will knock together a quick tutorial (and post it here) for folks looking to flip their pads from trash to treasure. Mine weren’t all that bad, but I think most people don’t really know how good their pads are. I mean, my machine has 80k clicks on the coin box, but original sensors, as far as I can tell, and its one of the best machines I’ve played on, DDR A machines included. Feels good!

20160927 204154851 iOS

Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS

Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out like a year ago, and, as per usual, I was pretty late to the party. I got the game for $16.32 on an eBay low-ball special, and started it up.

I had a lot of fun with the game, but, if you haven’t played it, you get a distinct feeling of “Is this it?”. You gather things, you sell them. You pay off your mortgage and are forced into another one. 

You dig up fossils. You go fishing. You plant tree. You talk to your townsfolk. And thats the problem.

Your value in the game is based on what your townspeople think of you, and if you don’t talk to them BASICALLY every day, they guilt trip you. I’m done with you, animal crossing. I hate guilt trips in games!

I sold this game for $25 bucks and I don’t even regret it.

Steaks: A Love Story

I’m a low-carber, on purpose, for weight loss, which I think I’ve enumerated here a couple of times. The low-carb lifestyle works for me, as my primary foodlust includes wings, burgers, steaks, and cheeses.

In my search for the perfect steak, I’ve done my best to consume as much as I can, of both the meat itself, and knowledge about the cuts, the preparation, and miscellany related to meat-craft. BBQ and slow-roasting and smoking are a difficult thing to do at home. They require equipment that is difficult to obtain ($$), hard to maintain, and the craft itself is exceptionally time consuming. I’m happy to be party to excellent BBQ, and will do so at any occasion. I make no secret that my favorite is Black Hog, in Frederick, MD. Their ribs are sublime, and their mustard sauce is the only proper mustard sauce I’ve had north of Columbia, SC.

Steak is an interesting topic to me. Couple of things that matter, and you should know about steak, in no particular order:

Filet Mignon and Tenderloin are not the best Cut

Filet Mignon and Tenderloin are basically the same thing, as the Filet is taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin. This cut is often praised as the most tender piece, and heralded as a lean cut, with not much fat. The cut is served at weddings, banquets, even cruise ships. People love the filet.

However, filet is no more flavorful than a basic sirloin. In fact, often times a top sirloin will have a cap of fat that adds much needed flavor to a steak. Perhaps the most basic understanding should be that steak tastes good for two reasons: fat content and salt content. Salt can do a lot for a poor meat choice. Fat is the basic building block on which taste stands.

But the texture, Jesse! Yes, yes, the texture. I have never understood the fascination with tender meat, I’ll admit that. When I eat a piece of steak, there is a primal feeling, and tearing flesh adds to that.

Fat is awesome

In the US, the USDA grades beef at the request of the cattle farm. Now, this isn’t required, but since the grade can fetch much higher prices, its often desirable to do so. USDA rankings (for steak, you’re not going to get canner meat for a steak) go from Select, to Choice, to Prime. There are cuts that are above Prime, such as the oft-famed Waygu beef that is beyond-ridiculously fat marbled.

Waygu (literally Japanese for Cattle) come from Japan. No actual Japanese beef gets into this country, and though cattle from Japan have been imported, it’s still not proper Waygu. There is a marbling index that is present in Japan that is really intense, check it out:

NewImage

So, odds are you haven’t had Waygu. You haven’t had a Waygu burger. The Japanese Hibachi restaurant “Kobe” has absolutely nothing to do with intensely marbled beef, though I’m certain they’d love for you to believe that you were. Tajima beef that is of the highest quality are fed only rice straw, corn, barley, and other grains, and only fresh, clean water. These are seriously spoiled cows.

The takeaway here is that fat is awesome, and the more fat, the more intense the flavor. Filet being a lean cut makes it inferior, from the start.

Because fat is awesome, Ribeye is awesome

Ribeye is “the steak-eater’s steak.” Its often nicely marbled, it can withstand high-heat without turning into rubber. 

Because fat is awesome, grass fed steak is not

“But Jesse,” you’d postulate, “Isn’t grass-fed beef better for the environment?” Some sources point to no, and it stands to reason, as whether corn or grass fed, a beef cow’s job is to become fat for slaughter and butcher. If corn does the job much faster, versus grass taking longer, or requiring more land, then there are loads of things that could factor into this not-so-black-and-white-like-a-cow matter. But we’re not talking about sustainability or nature, we’re talking about steak, and flavor. Grass promotes a leaner cow. Leaner means less fat. What did we learn about fat?

Sauce is a weird way to make garbage meat “better”

Au poivre. Oscar. Persillade. Blue-cheese-crumbled. A1. Worcestershire. All of these sauces hide a steak’s true flavor. I’m of the belief that there is one true sauce for steak of any variety: Salted butter, slightly browned.

OK SO, you’ve gone on at length, Jesse, whats the point?

Steak is very easy to cook. 

Get your steak out of the refrigerator. Set it on the counter on paper towels, and make sure its dry. Don’t get garbage cuts, get ribeye or New York, at LEAST select, and at least an inch thick. Inch and a half is fine too (thicker than that is outside the scope of this method. If you’re buying that kind of beef, you better know what to do with it). Let it sit there for 20 minutes to bring up meat’s resting temperature. 

At this point, I take a sheet of tinfoil and cover the stove and surrounding area. We’re gonna get messy. 

Get a pan, about 12”, and put your stove on about 6-7 (of 10). Get the pan hot. Drop in half a stick of butter, and when it melts completely, generously throw salt on both sides of your steak. Put that thing in the pan. Wait for 4 minutes. Flip. Wait for 4 minutes. Turn the stove to the lowest setting, and remove your steak. Put it on a plate, and grab one of your sheets of aluminum foil and cover it on the plate. 

Optionally, Take about a teaspoon of granulated garlic and drop it into your butter. You can still it around until your beefy butter absorbs the garlic. Uncover your steak. Dump the butter over it. Enjoy with vegetables. Thats really all it takes.