Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gwyn's Sushi

I had no part in this meal, other than eating it, so I didn't feel I was prepared to write a recipe, but I did take some cool photos of Gwyn's awesome Asian fusion meal.

It is apparent that while I cannot navigate H Mart, Gwyn is more than capable of getting in, finding the things she needs, and getting out.

Statefull Rolls: California rolls and Philly Rolls.
Ahhh! Soooooo good!

I bet you are jealous of my chopsticks.
Cool fact about this meal: it cost ~$5 per person. and there was so very much left over. We had it again the next night too!

This meal inspired a future restaurant idea of State Themed Sushi. This would have nothing to do with raw fish and everything to do with sweet and savory sushi rolls. I am not going to give too much away as this idea is gold.

Found: A BookShelf

A few weeks ago Gwyn and I visited IKEA to get me some dressers... HA! That is right! I never told you guys: I finally bought dressers! For the first time in my life I bought dressers that I intend to keep for a while. The long story here is that when I moved to the Tri Cities, I acquired a whole bunch of furniture, like a nice desk, nice couches, a awesome table/chair set, coffee tables and a bed, but I never did get a bed frame or dressers. This meant that my bed sat on the floor and my clothes were kept in makeshift cardboard shelves that I made from old boxes. In my two bedroom apartment, where one bedroom was my 'office/lab' and the other was my bedroom, my bedroom had no real furniture, but the rest of my apartment was very comfortably furnished.

Well... when I went to Pittsburgh, all of my furniture was distributed to my parents house and Chelsea and Caleb's house. At Larry's house, he had a dresser for me to use, and when living with Skanda, I bought a cheap dresser that I was planning on selling when I moved out (as it turns out, for 100% the cost). So here in Boston, my room, while having 1.5 walls taken up by a desk, there was not really any furniture.

Thus the trip to IKEA. An now I have two lovely dressers! And they look great! They are Red!

Ok, so while we were at IKEA, I was also looking for a book shelf, I have a corner with boxes that should go somewhere, but I have no place to put them! There was a cheap shelf that I was going to get, but they were sold out. So I went home sad. But the very next morning I walked past the dumpster to see a very used bookshelf. Judging by the crayon marks, it looked like it was a small child's at one point. But I figured that some sanding and a fresh coat of paint would make it perfect for my room.

So here are some pictures of the process:
Post Sanding. About to get a first coat of black.

Pro Tip: Use sleeves of old T shirts for head bands.

Reminds me of CJM

Keep posted. It only needs to be taped and then one more coat and then it is all done!

Life Update

First off to address the lack of blog posts: I have been a little stressed at work, and life has been busy outside of work. Both of these tend to dissuade me from any form of writing. But I am here now, so that is to say that work has gotten better, and life gave be a break.

Work is still going well, last week and the beginning of this week were spent on a problem that was proving to be difficult. It was an engineering problem that I was having a really hard time fixing. Today one of my displaced (they are remolding his office) coworkers helped me trace down the problem to memory that was not being free-ed up correctly. For those of you who remember Computer Science II and dynamic memory allocation, I created an array and forgot to delete said array when I was done. This lead to a different class, in a completely different part of code to start SegFaulting. As I had wrote this bad code a while ago, and it happened to work with the existing code, I didn't catch it, and did connect the two when I started building the existing code back from scratch. For those of you who have never programmed, this is the type of problem that you were always told about, your instructor made a huge fuss about it, but you never really listened because it was not all that obvious why you should care. Then, in your laziness (or forgetfulness) the problem does become something you should care about.

Long story short, problem fixed. And while I was ignoring that part of the problem, I created a nice benchmarking tool to use on our new K10 machine. I know I have not really talked that much about work, specifically about the GPUs I work with, but this machine is super powerful. In 2U space (or about 5 feet by 2 feet by 6 inches, or as Wes would think about it: 4 Medium Pizzas stacked in two stacks side by side) we have 8 GPUs to crunch on a theoretical 14 - 20 Trillion operations per second (so it is actually ~2 FLOPS per GPU). I am excited to see what we can do with this. Before this machine, we have been using single Tesla cards (older ~1TFlop GPUs) attached to our desktops.

In other news: This week I got to hang out with Penny! She was out here visiting her sister Meredith, and sacrificed a whole afternoon and evening to hang out with Gwyn and I. We met up at the Holocaust Museum, had some lunch with Meredith then walked over to the Constitution. Gwyn and Penny were not as impressed as myself and my parents when we went there, but it is ok... not everyone can love history as much as my parents. We headed in to Cambridge to JP Licks (Ice Cream!) and then headed home. I made Pierogies for dinner, it was the first time Penny had tasted them, she liked them! It was a great visit! It was fun to get to reminisce and catch up on life.
The Required Penny/Scott picture
 Monday Gwyn and I met up with the young adult group from Hancock (the church we have been going to). It was a fun evening getting to meet new people, but not nearly as awesome as our friends back in Pittsburgh.

Other events that are not going to get written about because they have taken place soooo long ago and have not been talked about yet:

Wes and Jamie lead an excursion to Rumney New Hampshire. The main goal of the trip was to get people climbing on the rocks, which was fun, but the hike and just hanging out in the woods was great. Unfortunately my transition from hanging on a rope to standing on my own feet did not go very well and I sprained my ankle pretty bad. Bad enough that the next day (a Monday) I had to call Gwyn on her cell phone (even though she was in her room) to ask if she would take care of her maimed boyfriend.

Kita's mom was visiting, and invited all of her friends (luckily myself and Gwyn) to come over and eat Indian Food. It was amazing. I have been a fan as of late, but I am hooked now. I wish I could go back and tell little Scott that he really should like all types of food.

A few of us went out to the Samuel Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain (a neighborhood a little south and west of Boston) . It was a lot of fun. Typical brew house tour: What is Beer? Here is where we make it. And Here is Beer (have some).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Shameless Plug

Hello All,

It's Gwyn here. And after a loooong time away from the Bard of Lincoln I am back, but for very selfish reasons.

As most of you know, I am an artist.... doesn't that statement just reek of pretension? Blah... Anyway, it's true. I have had a bit of time off in-between jobs and thought this would be the perfect time to work on some art and set up a place where I can show it off! I present: PaperSlip! PaperSlip is my etsy shop where you can look, purchase, or even commission work.

What's Etsy? Etsy is an online commerce shop that focuses on vintage, handmade, or craft supply products (thank you wiki). You can find anything on Etsy, from beautiful furnature, to jewelry, to pottery, to whatever this is...

and now you can find my stuff too.

There are cards and collages ready now, but eventually there may be some of my other digital work up to purchase as well.

I love to hear feedback so shoot me a message and I will get back to you ASAP. I already have had a request for wedding cards so those will be in the process this next week!

Okay well thats all for me- I will write again soon... and next time it wont be a shameless plug about me but something fun that Scott and I did!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Zucchini + Squash = Greatness

Ben recently acquired a large quantity of rather large zucchini and summer squash. By large I mean many and huge, respectively. All of them were larger than my forearm. And he gave me 7 of them. Later that week Gwyn and I were going to go to a church BBQ, and needed to bring something to feed other people. I figured this was a great opportunity. Some people might be saying: "Hey Scott! This one time so-and-so made really good grilled zucchini" and "Ooohh... Lots of zucchini? You should make zucchini bread!" While I do like both of those options, I decided to go for a different approach, ever since making sweet potato pancakes with Chelsea, I have wanted to experiment with more ( <item> + eggs + breadcrumbs ) -> butter + heat = pancake like goodness.

Forewarning, I am inheriting my mother's cooking technique: you don't need to measure anything, you will just know. While this may be true for people who have done this, it can cause trouble for others, like my roommate (but I am not saying any names, and she gets a post after this one on one of her cooking achievements)

Summer Time Squash Pancakes

3-4 Home Grown Monstahs (that being Larger than normal home grown squash)
5-7 store bought squash

for both of these you can mix and match summer squash and zucchini, if you like one more than the other, focus on that one.

2-3 cups bread crumbs
2-4 eggs
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (kind of optimal, you need something here... it could be any seasoning you prefer)
Milk and Flour as needed (I used about 1 cup of flour)
Butter. Lots of Butter. Or Oil if you would rather.

Sauces to dip in.

Wash your squash, cut off the ends (the stem and the nub on the other end) and start grating. Use a large cheese grater, or similar interment, and shred all of the squash you are using. This activity can take a while, and it is very dangerous for your knuckles. You have been warned.

Once your squash is all cut up, you need to get as much water out as you can. I grated mine in to a big bowl, then pressed the squash, and drained, then pressed and drained. I got my hands dirty, but I am sure there is some graceful way to do this. You just want to get rid of the juice.

At this point, I went to sleep and worked on it the next day.

Drain again, add the egg, bread crumbs and seasoning. Mix well. You are looking for a sweet spot in consistency, you want to be able to ball up the batter and have it kind of hold shape, but you don't want it so doughy that it is super sticky. Eggs and/or milk to make it more liquidy. Add more bread crumbs or flour to stiffen it up. This is kind of an on going process, as you start to cook them you will see what kind of consistency you are looking for.

Squished Squash (and some other stuff)
Melt a good amount of butter in a fry pan/skillet. Once butter is just getting hot, press a small hand full of batter in to a flat circular pancake thing and plot in to the butter. Let this cook for a while. There is a fine point where you want the butter to be really hot, but not burning. I found this was right around '6' on my stove, but it may depend. You will find the sweet spot as you keep cooking more. After a few minutes, flip the pancakes over, you should see a nice browning going on. I like them crispy and well done, but you can shorten time if you want softer ones. Keep doing this untill all your batter is used up.

From here they look like Sausages
Serve with a sauce or two, they are not all that flavorful on their own. I did spaghetti sauce (you really should use marinara sauce) and some tzatziki. Both were well received.

Presentation is everything
Be sure to put this on your favorite plate.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cake Balls from a Pan

This happened awhile ago, but these pictures are great!

For Christmas my lovely Cousins gave me, among other things, a cake ball pan. I had been itching to use this rather unique cooking implement. One of my coworkers had a birthday. I had been making a lot of letter cakes. So this was a perfect opportunity.

I am just going to throw out these pictures without too much cometary, so I can get to the rest of the blog posts!

The pan, comes apart so you can get the batter in there.

Little Cake Balls!

They cook over and make little cake cups. Very good for snacking.

Candy Coating

Decoration Department.

Final Product

Notice how there is just random sprinkles on top? Yeah, that was supposed to be letters, but due to the absurd humidity of the East Coast, the sprinkles just stuck. All over. They still looked fine though, and everyone liked them! For those of you who have made cake balls, these end up being much more light and airy, instead of the sometimes frosting heavy cake balls.

Thanks to the Tomlinson Family!

Movie Going First

So this past week, my friends and I went out and saw Ted. It is a new slapstick, crude romantic comedy that stars Mr. Wahlburg and Seth MacFarlane. If you don't recognize that last name, you most likely won't really find the movie amusing, MacFarlane is the creator of Family Guy, something that this movie shares a lot in common with. On par with my feelings for the genre, I was not a huge fan, I laughed a lot, it was in fact funny, but I walk out feeling unfulfilled and kind of dirty.

Anyway... this is not really about the movie, it was about the location. We were seeing this movie at the Somerville theater, in apparently, historic Davis square.

Side note: Before we went to the movie, we hit up Anna's Taqueria, touted by Bostonians as the best Mexican in town. I should have known not to trust the word of east coasters. It was not bad, but it was certainly lacking. I felt that Taco Del Mar could have done better. On with the story...

So the Somerville Theater is a theater, in the old sense, you walk in under a marquee, and are greeted by an old tyme feeling. The main room is more of an opera room. I saw Billy Brag here, they just pull up the main screen and they have a full stage. Other amenities in the theater include an over arching owl theme, the museum of bad art, and beer.

So Ted began, and we started watching this story of how a boy who does not have any friends, so he wishes for one, and his teddy bear becomes animated (Ted). The we have this title sequence that is a montage of John and Ted growing up together. From the get go, you are well aware of the setting of the film: Boston. Eventually there is a pivotal scene in Fenway, there are scenes driving around the iconic parts of town. Anyway. In this first montage, John and Ted are waiting in line for Phantom Menace AT THE SOMERVILLE THEATER. AH! It was weird and cool and awesome all at the same time. The whole room (which had maybe 40 people in it) all came to the realization at the same time. Awesome.

First this summer I got to see Pittsburgh in all of its glory in Batman, now I was sitting in a theater watching a movie... filmed at the theater.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Awesome Site

I suggest everyone go check out this site: The Genre Labyrinth

If you like music, you will like this. Put in your favorite genre and explore. Be sure to have your sound turned on.