Month: July 2017

Movies: Against the Law

So I saw on a forum that the movie Against The Law  – so I searched online and found it. It’s about the criminalization of homosexuality in the UK and it’s ultimate repeal.

During the court case I found myself shouting  – I would not have put up with the invasion of privacy that occurred in the cases. I’ve never been one who thinks the law is infallible. That the law needs frequent review and updating.

It carries into my posts about the U.S. Border Patrol and how they need to stick to the border and not 100 miles inland. And that demanding ID is wrong. In fact Rhode Island law says the only thing they can ask your name and business. No requirement to show ID.

Coffee: Getting better at roasting

Take a look at these:

Found out the trick – buy the least expensive popcorn popper you can find. I went with this one:

61nazl2blqfl-_sx355_Yup – a West bend Stir Crazy for all of $21.60 on Amazon. Dump in anywhere from 4 to 8 oz of coffee beans, wait 25 minutes and presto – roast coffee beans. It’s really awesome. Optimally 6 oz. seems to work best in this device. And it’s a damned sight cheaper than a fancy home coffee roaster, about 1/10th or less the price. And the added benefit, I can also do popcorn in the thing.

And the coffee it produces – first off I shall never again buy french roast beans. They’re pretty much stale when you get them. And the coffee – it’s heavenly. You get fruity and other notes in it. It’s what happens when you don’t roast the hell out of it and it’s fresh.

But this doesn’t mean that someday I’ll pop a couple grand and get a professional coffee roasting rig. But for now every few days I’ll roast a bit more and we’re good. And we don’t drink that much coffee to warrant roasting pounds of beans.

I’m also considering growing a coffee plant – I want to see what coffee cherries taste like. You get that from WalMart for about $5 per plant. I know, I don’t live in a zone that would be considered good for making coffee but it’s going to be inside heated/cooled space so it may work.

Speaking of which I think I’ll go make some coffee now.


Car Review: Honda Odyssey

So the other day I had to grab a car for a couple hours to get some ingredients for a dish. Ended up with a Honda Odyssey.

Two things I test with any new car I drive. 1) Can I easily get it to red line and b) How does it perform at speeds of 80MPH or more.

I’m happy to report for a mini-van the Honda is pretty damned good. Front and rear climate control, tilt wheel, not sure the engine but it sure did perform. Didn’t shimmy at all over 80MPH. Amazing. Transmission/transaxle is pretty good too. If I were in the market I now know my two favorite mini-vans, the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey.

And it was a 2017 and I note Honda improved the bluetooth experience in the van. Didn’t have to delete entries to add my phone.

Here’s the dash – it’s going all glass:

The Old and the New in Music

So I have two songs in my music library. First there’s Peter Brown with Do You Wanna Get Funky with Me from 1977. A pretty jamming little tune. And a definite four on the floor beat.

And recently with the whole debacle of what happened to C+C Music Factory an updated version circa 2010:


Like pretty much all music, it gets sampled, chopped up and recycled approximately every 30 years. I credit this to the artists involved having heard the original when they were young and deciding to stir it up a little. Same is true of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince version of Summertime – it was originally done by Kool and the Gang back in the 1970’s. In that particular instance it only took 20 years.

Then of course I’ve posted about Bob James and how some of his music has been sampled in very current acts.

So what was once old is new again. Amazing isn’t it

Final resort: Contact CEO and VP’s at Cox Communication

So the issue with random net disconnects is getting on my last nerve. I realize that the customer support folks aren’t technical folks so I’ll get no help there.

So I did what I normally do when I feel I’ve done enough – I contact the CEO and a few VP’s at Cox Communcations, told my story and we’ll see where it goes.



And so it begins

So I’ve now invested a modest amount in a crypto currency. It’s a newish one originating only a few years ago. Highly secure – as it’s all the big banks getting into the game.

If it performs anything like BitCoin did I’m in for a lot of money as I bought low and intend to sell medium to high. In essence I’m getting into currency trading.

The intention is to be ‘retired’ within a few years or by the time I hit age 55. It’s entirely within the realm of probable and possible. It’ll be a nice retirement, no more bosses, no more bullshit.

And once I receive the lump sum I’m expecting I’ll put more than a modest amount into the currency trading.

As to the security – the site I use to purchase this currency uses two factor authentications, and the payment processor – photo of me holding the card used exposing the first four and last four digits of the card. Wow.

What I like most about currency trading is that it’s unlike stocks where you have to become a day trader. Instead it’s a low and slow monitoring. And I have price text alerts coming to my phone. But I’m taking the semi-long view on this one. I realize once you’re into 7 digits in coin, the interest alone is enough to live on in perpetuity.

Stolen from: Mystery Blogger Award

So nobody nominated me so I figure I’d nominate myself.
mystery-blogger-awardHousekeeping rules:

Rule #1 – Put the award/logo image on your blog. Done

Rule #2 – List the rules. Roger that!

Rule #3 – Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.Thank you, Sassybear.

Rule #4 – Also mention the creator of the award and provide a link. The Mystery Blogger award was created by Okoto Enigma.

Rule #5 – Tell your readers three things about yourself. (1.) Born and raised in Providence, RI. (2.) I live to bring a car engine to red line and go as fast as I can (3.) Loves cats.

Rule #6 – Nominate other bloggers

  • Spo
  • Polt

As part of the requirements of winning this award, I must tell my readers three things about myself:

  1. I am a complete and total nerd/geek for anything that uses electrons.
  2. Only place I’ve been is Niagra Falls in Canada.
  3. If things go well I plan to be retired in five years – before I’m 60. Good.

I must also answer five questions, plus one weird or funny question, posed by RJ:

  • Is a hot dog a sandwich? Negative on that one. In fact, if you’ve ever seen how a hot dog is made you’d understand. It’s a bit like how sausage is made or how the political process works- both those two I love.
  • Does pineapple belong on a pizza? Not that I’ve ever had. And they do put some weird stuff on pizzas – I mean come on my favorite pizza is called Brimp – has broccoli and shrimp on it.
  • Do you think by putting a slice of avocado on something it’s California Style? No but waiting until they’re just ripe and making guacamole or slicing not ripe and then sauteeing in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. That is better than California style.
  • Do you consider Taco Bell edible? Not really – it’s mostly what I now term slop. And I refer to it as the Mexican Phone Company. Or Montezumas revenge.
  • What is your favorite beverage? Alcoholic – A good wine; Non-Alcoholic – Water

Weird/funny question:

  • What is the weirdest place you’ve had… chocolate?  In a submarine. Not as a Navy person it was a tour. And come to think of it, there’s never a weird place to have chocolate.

A side benefit of roasting in a wok

So I’ve done a 2oz. batch and it was freaking awesome. So this evening I did 6oz. I figure each full quart of coffee in the French Press takes 2oz. of coffee – so 3 coffee servings.

But it’s putting down a beautiful coating on the wok. Nice and black, slippery and gorgeous.

Who knew!


Success: Roasted coffee

So received my 3lbs of dried coffee beans today. And I’ve roasted them. Every video I watched says if you can do popcorn without burning it, you can do coffee beans.

Here’s what the dried beans look like:

So I used my wok – I had just oiled it and cleaned it. Used the inductive appliance to get accurate control over temperature. So cranked it up to 500F and measured out 2 ounces of beans. Whisked it for about 15 minutes. The result is in the pic below – sort of a darker roast when all is done which is what I wanted. Not burned, just roasted. I will say I’ll spend the $200 or so and get a coffee roaster that does 4oz at a time. Additionally found it’s great for seasoning the wok.
Here are the ground beans in the French Press.



Upon looking at the pic – I see it’s more between medium and dark. So I’ve cooled them and put them in an airtight container and tomorrow morning I’ll grind them and make some coffee.

And update – I ground the beans up this morning. Here’s what they look like ground up and in the French Press.


The end result, the absolute most wickedly good awesome mug of coffee we’ve had. In fact I noticed something, it didn’t leave any sludge at the bottom of the mug. I’ll be doing this from now on.

Gaming: From keyboard to game controller

It’s likely known, I love old school games and some current generation stuff. For example Bioschock 1 and 2 are installed on my PC and Fallout IV too. But then I run both VNES and Project64 they respectively run the Nintendo catalog from the NES and N64 games. But I didn’t want to wear my keyboard out constantly mashing the keys.

So I ordered an inexpensive NES controller with a USB plug on it. Easy to set up – but I find my play is impacted. Why? Because arrow keys and A,S,D,F,E,R are all that is necessary. The controller has the four way pad, which is the arrow keys, and then A, B, X, Y, Left Trigger, Right Trigger and select and start. Here’s how the keyboard maps:

Direction        Keyboard    Controller
Up:                   Up Arrow    Dpad Up
Down:             Down Arrow Dpad Down
Left: Left Arrow Dpad Left
Right: Right Arrow Dpad Right
A Button D A Button
B Button F B Button
Y Button E Y Button
X Button R X Button
Select A Select Button
Start S Start Button

Thing is, I know the keyboard map. The A, S, D, F, E, R, and arrow keys make sense to me on computer keyboard. But alas on the controller it takes some practice again. It’s a skill that I lost. But then when I had my NES console I used the joystick controller. That might explain it.