Better than I expected

Jul. 28th, 2017 11:45 am
anysia: (Demon-eyed Cat)
[personal profile] anysia
Don't get me wrong, I loved my Tamron 24-70 f/2.8, fast to focus, and the image quality was excellent, but I kept finding myself trying to zoom past the 70mm mark. It didn't quite have the reach. So, instead of ruining the lens by accidentally over torquing the zoom ring, it was time to get lens with longer reach.

At PhotoExpoLive2017, I purchased the 24-105mkII. One of the things I was concerned about was losing that one stop. Well, I didn’t have to worry because the bokeh even at f/4 on the 5D4 was great.

Canon 5DmkIV, 24-105mkII, ISO 1600, f/4, 1/60exp.  No noise reduction, edited in On1PhotoRaw 2017

purrli should be all of these things

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:34 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) new sky blue fitbit band
2) octopus wrist wrap
3) frittata with sweet potato in it
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Important PSA: The actress who played Kelsey will be at Rangerstop this year ♥

Cherry Pie Recipe

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:45 pm
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
After discussing and comparing runny cherry pies with my non-runny cherry pie production with [personal profile] stardreamer and [personal profile] murakozi and promising to post the recipe, here's the recipe.

I'm considering using chocolate balsamic vinegar the next time I make one to see what it does to the flavor profile. In discussion on my original post from two weeks ago (hard to believe it's been only two weeks!), I did some research and looked up a lot of cherry pie recipes online. The one thing that ALL of them had in common was that if they included corn starch, and not all of them did, they added it directly to the wet mix! The can of corn starch that I have, Clabber Girl brand, says specifically on the label to mix it with liquid before adding it to whatever it is that you want to thicken. I've added a note to my shopping list on my phone to look at other corn starch brands and see if they also say to mix it with a liquid before adding it to whatever is to be thickened.

So my thought is that if you just add it to whatever is to be thickened that it is overwhelmed by the volume of liquid and can't swell. If you pre-mix it with liquid, in this case an equal amount of lemon juice (and I'm so glad I bought a squeezer thingy!), then you're already starting with a very thick liquid to add to the cherry filling and it thickened beautifully.

I used a pre-made frozen pie crust, and it was wonderful. Currently I don't have cabinet surface area to roll out a pie dough or the guts to try to make one. One of these days....

Cherry Pie
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Prep: 25 min

Inactive: 1 hr 5 min
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Filling:
6 cups frozen tart cherries

⅔ cup sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (chocolate?)

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Sweet Pie Crust:

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) salted butter, cold and cut into pieces
¾ cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into pieces

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough

2 large eggs

5 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
For the filling: Combine the cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until the juices release and are hot and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Stir together the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl until combined and add to the cherry mixture. Continue to cook until glossy and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the sweet pie crust:
In a large bowl using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal, for 3 or 4 minutes. In a small bowl, beat one of the eggs with a fork and pour it into the flour mixture. Add the cold water, sugar, white vinegar and salt. Stir gently to combine.

Form the dough into 2 evenly sized balls and place each ball into a gallon resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (to about 1/2 inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using them immediately, it's still a good idea to put them in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to make the crust, remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

On a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it's a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop, use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over, then continue rolling until it's about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the edges of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge. Fill with the cooled cherry mixture.

Roll out the second dough the same size and place it over the pie. Trim off the edges and crimp the top and bottom crusts together to seal them. Cut a few vent holes in the top. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl for the egg wash. Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar

Put the pie onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is browned, about 50 minutes. If the crust is getting too brown before the pie is finished, cover with foil and continue baking.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
© 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.


Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/cherry-pie.html
quantumcupcakes: (The Moon)
[personal profile] quantumcupcakes
Today I have mostly been indulging in cuddling with the cats and my favourite humans. I also had sex for the first time in about a month and god was it good. I've just not been feeling in the mood because of pain, side-effects of painkillers, exhaustion and frustration.

I want this damn cast off my leg. It's been a month and I'm tired of it. It itches and aches and it's cumbersome. I had an orthopedics appointment yesterday and I'm healing 'nicely', whatever that means - both the bone and the operation site. I'm blanking on the medical term. I've still got at least another month before he looks at taking the cast off though. I'm getting more stable on crutches, less worried about falling over, taking less painkillers so while I am frustrated, things are all moving in the right direction which is always good to know.

So yes, cuddling, kissing and shagging - a wonderful way to spend a chilly, rainy, Welsh summer morning. I have discovered the joys of youtube, and have been enjoying watching Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna & Queen videos.

As well as 80s pop music, I've been watching trailers for some upcoming movies that I was already eagerly anticipating. If I wasn't already excited for Justice League or Thor: Ragnarok, I am now beside myself. They both look like so much fun, don't they?

It's also worth noting on a purely shallow note, that both Jason Momoa and Chris Hemsworth are both deliciously strappin young men who I would not kick out of bed for eating crackers! (Sorry, Jack!)

It's now time to move to the couch where there is a chicken salad waiting for me for my lunch and continue watching some Harry Potter. Lucy and I have been rewatching the movies this week, and we're about to start The Order Of The Phoenix. A nice, comfortable, enjoyable Thursday afternoon.

Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
I mentioned that I was going to post it, and I've been procrastinating. So here it is. I think it is VERY good, my wife absolutely loves it. ETA: I should have tagged [personal profile] stardreamer as she was interested in it. Thus it is done.

Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: less than an hour, plus 3+ hrs chilling time | Makes: 1 (9-inch) pie, or 8 to 10 servings
¾ cup (5 oz) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. I use Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips, no need to chop.
¼ cup cold heavy cream for melting the chocolate
¾ cup cold heavy cream for whipping (a single pint makes 2 pies)
2 or 3 large egg whites (no traces of yolk), at room temperature, depending on how dense a chocolate you want (2 eggs = more dense chocolate, 3 eggs = slightly less dense chocolate, 1 egg = not recommended)
1 Oreo chocolate cookie pie crust

OPTIONAL: ½ TEASPOON chili powder, I recommend Spice Islands brand, should be available at Albertsons.
OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, use a good one that isn't just vanilla “flavored”.

1. Fill a medium sauce pan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Place the chocolate (and chili powder, optional) in a large heat proof bowl, add the ¼ cup of the cream and vanilla. Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until smooth and combined with the cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe any moisture from the bottom of it, and set aside to cool slightly.

3. While the chocolate is cooling, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure the bowl and whisk have no trace of oil or fat on them, or the whites won’t whip properly). Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. It's OK if this is over-mixed. Personally I put the whites on a paper plate to reduce cleanup.

4. Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl, chill the bowl with cold water if you just rinsed it with hot. Place the remaining ¾ cup of cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. It's NOT OK to over-mix this or you get something like butter! Keep an eye on it.

5. The chocolate should be cool, or just slightly warm by this time. Using a spatula, fold half of the whipped cream in to the melted chocolate, then gently stir in the rest (try not to deflate the whipped cream). Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture just until there are no longer large blobs of whipped cream or egg white (do not over-mix). Pour the mousse into the cooled pie crust and smooth it into an even layer, you can do this by moving the pie tin in a large circle and it will settle itself. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2-3 hours, overnight is better. Then cover it with the lid that came with the pie crust (if you bought an Oreo or Keebler crust.)

NOTES FROM WAYNE: The chili powder and vanilla are my additions. If you want more chili powder, go ahead, but be very careful. Add it in quarter, or even eighth teaspoon increments, we find the current half teaspoon to be a nice kick and just shy of too much.

If you look at this recipe online, they have you making your own pie crust. If you want to make the effort, go for it, I'm sure it'll be great. I'd rather not spend the time, and I can make this pie in half an hour from pulling the ingredients out of the fridge to putting the pie in to set by using an Oreo crust. Keebler also makes a chocolate crust, but the Oreo crust tastes better in my opinion.

The online recipe also has the suggestion of making and adding whipped cream when you serve it. Personally, I wouldn't bother because this recipe is VERY calorie-dense. It's a very nice dessert, Russet and I usually share a piece to reduce the calories and I cut it in to eight pieces to make them a little smaller.

(from CHOW http://www.chow.com/recipes/30500-chocolate-mousse-pie/ By Amy Wisniewski

trying to keep up

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:06 pm
sporky_rat: E from The Incredibles looking vaguely displeased (NO CAPES)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

My former boss Adam (he was a good boss) has a podcast about Game of Thrones. Since he's the one that handed me the first book when Brent when to Utah in 2012, I started listening. (The exchanged was more or less like this: 'Brent's going to Utah. You're going to go a little barmy. Here, have something to obsess over that's super long and super detailed so I don't have to fire you because you can't focus.' 'Uh. Okay?' Weekend after I read the entire book at Crown List, I asked for the second book. And then I bought the entire five book set for my Nook. Yeah. I have a soft spot for these books because of that.) It's been really fun to listen to Adam and his fellow nerds talk about Game of Thrones.

I have a horrible miserable wretched sinus infection. Not bacterial, I'm not having the usual bacterial issues. Meds don't tend to do much for me anyway on a sinus infection (unless it's something to help things drain) so I'm waiting to see just how bad it's going to get before I hit the doctor up.

I think I found my copy of Adobe Illustrator and I did find my copy of Paint Shop Pro. (Super excited about that second one because PSP does much better on a complete color swap than my copy of Photoshop (the original 7.0, yo)). Hope it still work on Win10.

Brent and I have also been watching Battlestar Galactica. We've gotten to the fun part of Apollo versus Apollo! MUAHAHA.

I hate photography failures

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:49 am
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
So I'm at the observatory last night, it's the third night of my wife's four night shift, and for once, the weather looks really good: we've had a storm cell parked on top of the mountain for a couple of weeks. I set up my camera on the floor in front of the telescope, check all the settings, all looks well. Empty memory card, I'd topped-off the battery before I left home, camera settings were where I wanted them. My wife told me that the observer was watching just a single target, so I wouldn't get much in the way of star streaks, but that was OK - it was more of an experiment to see what it would look like. I started the external timer firing once a second, she turned off the lights, opened the dome, and we went downstairs to the control room for a few hours.

I knew the camera battery was good for about 4.5 hours in colder conditions, and I started it shooting at about 20:00, just before sundown, so I kind of expected it to still be firing when I went back up about three hours later. No visible red LED on the camera. Maybe it was between exposures. Get down to the floor of the telescope: nope, it was dead. So take it off the tripod, sling it over my shoulder, grab my tripod and head back downstairs.

I figured the battery was dead and I had a card full of images to look at. I did stop to look out the telescope slit: absolutely gorgeous night, couldn't have asked for a nicer sky. So down in the control room, just for kicks and giggles, I try to turn the camera on. And it turns on. And shows a battery just under completely full.

Hit the button to playback images. It took 240 images before stopping. A whopping five minutes of exposures. Didn't even get past sundown, which would have been nice to have the sky transition. Complete waste of time.

I don't know what happened. Camera battery was fine. Remote timer battery was fine: I replaced it with a new battery after I got it (I bought a used unit). 32 gig memory card was empty and freshly formatted when I started the night. The camera was set to turn itself off after two minutes, but the timer was tripping it once a second, so the auto power-off should never have triggered.

*sigh*

We did have a good time, chatting with people in the control room. Another astronomer from the other telescope had just returned from eight days in Japan, visiting her aunt and cousins. Had wonderful stories, especially about toilets, TV, and scarily-expensive coffee. Talking to their computer guy about a switch that had confused itself about its IP address and he couldn't find it on the network. I suggested trying to find its MAC address, but that didn't work. We talked about the summer shutdown when they do heavy maintenance on the telescopes: the 2.5 meter mirror is about to get crated up and trucked to Tucson for its annual re-aluminaization, and it's possible the 3.5 will get redone this year even though it was done only two years ago.

And, of course, playing with the poodles, talking about Gay of Thrones (Funny or Die recap of the HBO series) and Orphan Black.

Who Am I?

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:13 pm
jackjanderson: (Borealis)
[personal profile] jackjanderson
I know I shouldwant to keep posting videos for the music meme but right now I don't want to have music playing. Both Lucy and Samantha are actually asleep and even though they're upstairs, I don't want to risk disturbing them. Neither of them are sleeping very well lately so while they're actually sleeping, I'm going to leave hem.

I did come across from a friend on facebook some random quizzes. I ended up taking them and I was very amused by the 'answers' I got.

The first one is Can We Guess Your Real Identity By The Picture You Pick and the result I got was
You are a guy in your mid 20's. We're guessing around 24 years old. Maybe 25?
You like thrills.
You like to have fun with your friends and enjoy nonsense.
You have a girlfriend and you love her. (She loves you too!)

Yes, I'm a guy. I'm not in my mid-20s, left those behind many years ago. I definitely enjoy thrills, having fun with my friends altough I'm not sure about 'enjoying nonsense' but perhaps the simple fact I'm taking these kinds of quizzes proves I do? And I do love my girlfriend - and my wife!

The second one is Can We Guess Your Age Based On Your Taste In Music and the result I got was
Based on your taste in music you’re sixty-eight!
You’ve got a record collection that would make most modern hipsters insanely jealous. You’ve been to more than one reunion tour and have the t-shirts to prove it.

The age is a little closer to the mark but reunion tours would be difficult considering most of the composers I listen to have been deceased many centuries.

They're just silly quizzes I know but they amused me so I thought I'd share the results!

In with the new, out with the old

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:12 pm
anysia: (Big Grin)
[personal profile] anysia
Attended the #PhotoLiveExpo2017 at Novatel, in Perth, yesterday. Bought a new lens at a discounted price. Wing had a bit of a snit about it until I told him I was selling my Tamron 24-70 to fund the purchase.

Went to #CameraElectronic to pick up the new camera batteries we bought at the event discount prices. Got a small bag to carry a 50mm lens that's large enough to hold the 24-105mkII when I want to swap. Told Sam I was selling the Tamron (which I just picked up after a scheduled thorough cleaning). I had a price in mind, and Sam's offer was right in that ballpark. So, instead of the hassle and problems of having to deal with idiots trying to lowball me on the price, or mansplain as to why I should sell it to them for less, I got a CE store credit.

Problem solved.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) legs up a tree
2) wind chimes
3) jumping rope
dewline: (comic books)
[personal profile] dewline
I watched this last night. Seemed like it has something helpful to say on the subject of that particular mix of envy and sadness you can sometimes feel when seeing work you consider better than your own...and I've been in that emotional state more than once across the decades.

starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I was very surprised to level up in Habitica today and see my own image flashed at me... as a sea star. I thought... that doesn't seem right? I remembered one of the frequently asked questions on the Habitica wiki is "Why is my character suddenly a starfish?" but since I wasn't at the time I saw it, I didn't read it.

Before I went back to read it today, I checked party chat, and lo! [personal profile] wispfox claims responsibility for this delight!



So I have prepared what I believe to be an appropriate response:

Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.

kings of con

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:13 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Rich: "I'm disappointed in all of you. It's Halloween, and Osric is the only one wearing a costume."
Osric: "I'm not wearing a costume."
Rich: "You're wearing a dress and you have a piece of fruit on your head."
Osric: "You're so old."
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) signing up for fall races
2) scrapbooking
3) Mimi riding in her stroller

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