Friday, May 18, 2012

Roast Beef 2

Tried doing the roast beef again this week. Turned out much better. Well done but also soft and tender. We made two changes from last week's attempt: we used scotch fillet (which was about twice the price) and we wrapped the beef in foil for the entire cooking time. Since the beef was a bit heavier than last week (1.3kg instead of 1kg), we also cooked it for 20 minutes longer.

This week's process was:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C, fan forced
  2. Brown all sides of the beef in a frypan
  3. Season the beef with salt
  4. Wrap in two layers of aluminium foil at right angles
  5. Cook in the oven for 100 minutes, turning over after 40 minutes, and then turning back at 80 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven and leave wrapped in the foil for 15 minutes
  7. Unwrap and enjoy
One thing to note is that the beef shrunk a lot during this cooking process. Maybe it was due to the cooking process but could also have been due to the beef cut used.

Next week: try this cooking process with a cheaper cut of beef.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Roast Beef 1

We cooked roast beef last Sunday and it turned out a little to rare for my wife's liking so we decided to have another go today and see if we could do better. We did, but we can probably do even better so in the interest of scientific (!) record keeping, here is the process, parameters and results of tonight's attempt.

The beef was 1kg of 'roasting beef' bought at the halal butcher's in Adelaide Central Market. We first browned the roast on all sides in a fry pan while pre-heating the oven to 180C fan-forced. The beef was cooked uncovered in an aluminium tray for 60 minutes.

After the 60 minutes the beef was very firm to the touch on removal from the oven but after resting for a little it had some elasticity. After cutting there was a patch of slightly rare meat in the middle. Back in the oven for another 20 minutes and it was cooked through.

The meat was a bit tough but it was reasonable and will serve a sandwich filler for the week ahead.

Next time we might try cooking the beef wrapped in foil for the 80 minutes and see how that turns out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adelaide Zoo Membership

Towards the end of 2011, Zoos SA were reporting some financial difficulties and I thought a way to help was for my wife and I to become members.

A benefit of membership is that we get free entry into Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo. On the face of it this is an obvious reward but after a little thought one realises just how beneficial is free entry. Basically being able to enter the zoos for free removes all time pressures a visit to the zoo usually entails.

The regular entry price to Adelaide Zoo for an adult is $31.50. For a family of two adults and two or three children the cost is $85. If you are paying that much money you want to get your money's worth by spending the entire day at the zoo. You wouldn't pay that much money to just go along for an hour or go on a day when the weather isn't great.

With the free entry afforded by a membership, these time and weather restrictions disappear. Turn up to the zoo at 1pm and spend a few hours walking around one area of the zoo. Go back again the next weekend and see another part for an hour or two. You could even visit during a long lunch during work.

Membership makes visiting the zoo relaxing.

Relaxed

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A New Focus

Almost a year since my last post, which I recall was written in the lead up to the Tour de France, hence the sporting theme. Since then things have been a bit hectic (which is my excuse for not having posted).

I've taken on the role of the Secretary of the Australian-Indonesian Association of South Australia Inc (http://www.aiasa.org.au) that has kept me busy.

But now thoughts turn back to my websites. This turn of thought is motivated at least in part as a result of beginning to read the new book Technical Blogging (http://technicalblogging.com/book/). Another reason for thinking about blogging again is a desire to journal the day-to-day lives of my wife and I. The human mind is fickle and I need help in remembering what we do and when.

One of the early pieces of advice in this book is to define the theme or purpose of your blog. If you were to look through the archives of this blog you'd find technical content mixed with photography and even New Year resolutions. As a result, here are a list of my blogs and their new focuses:

  • The Shaved Gorilla Speaks (this blog): purely for documenting the day-to-day activities, thoughts, and events of my life and my wife's life.
  • Know Thy Tools: purely focussed on programming related topics. This is still a huge topic area and I'll probably spin of some smaller, specialised blogs covering singular areas of the programming landscape.
  • 366 Days of FizzBuzz: this is one of those more focussed programming blogs with articles solely devoted to the implementation of the toy FizzBuzz programming challenge. My original intent was to write one implementation per day but I only made it a month and a half. I may revisit and fill out the 366 days but in my own good time.
  • HLA Programming: another programming blog/website. My day job is spent elbow deep in the distributed simulation framework known as the High Level Architecture or HLA. There are no great resources for learning about the HLA on the web and this website is intended to fill this need.
  • Kata Bahasa Indo: my wife is Indonesian but my proficiency in Indonesian is poor. The focus of this blog is purely an exercise for learning Indonesian words.
I may add some extra blogs as well but this is already stretching myself quite thin. My main tasks will be The Shaved Gorilla Speaks and Know Thy Tools.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sport

I never quite know what I should be writing in this blog. I have other sites to capture my technological interests and that leaves little for me to write about here. One thing that has been a fairly major part of my life is sport. I've long since given up participation but I still maintain an interest in several sports including motorsport (Formula 1 and Nascar), baseball, cycling, soccer, and the Olympics/Commonwealth Games. I could probably add cricket to this list although it is something I have become less interested in as the cricketers I grew up watching have slowly retired.

I played Australian Rules Football, Rugby Union and Basketball in high school but, with the exception of basketball, had no enduring interest outside participation. I did have a fairly intense interest in basketball for a while but I think that has gone the way of my cricket interest.

So, (I hate starting sentences with 'So' but what ya going to do?) what's happening in those sports that interest me?

Nascar: my main interest in this sport is due to the presence of Australian Marcos Ambrose so that's what I'll talk about. Marcos is coming off an ordinary week in Kansas and will be looking for a good showing at the 2.5 mile triangular Pocono Raceway. He's has a top 10 at Pocono in the past and is a decent chance of doing that again or better after qualifying seventh.

Formula 1 is in Montreal this weekend and Vettel has qualified in pole with Webber fourth split by the two Ferraris one of which, I think, will win the race ... probably Alonso. The McLarens will be tough as will the similarly powered Mercedes team. I can't see Webber getting his first win at this track.

Cycling: the Criterium du Dauphine is entering the last stage with Bradley Wiggins in the GC lead thanks to a strong time trial on stage 3. Cadel Evans is 1m 26s back in second and didn't seem to have a great showing up the final mountain of Stage 6. But, his focus is the Tour de France in July in which he needs to peak in week 3 rather than week 1 or 2. Ivan Basso, another rider focussing on the TdF, is performing even worse in the Criterium and is probably using the current race as training and recovery after a crash a month ago.

I'll have more to say about baseball and soccer later.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Movies on my mind

It's been a while since my last post so, something completely random, here are some movies that I feel drawn to just at this moment:


  • The Big Lebowski --- The Dude Abides.
  • Topsy Turvy --- Jim Broadbent is one of the best.
  • Hackers --- Ignore the technological faux pas the questionable acting and the voice overs added in post, this is a nice buddy film with some good art design and costuming.
  • Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette --- two movies from Sophia Coppola; atmospheric, beautiful visuals and great soundtracks.
  • Blade Runner --- Visuals and the Vangelis soundtrack.
  • Tron Legacy --- In the same category as Hackers.
I like a lot of other movies and have hundreds of DVDs but the list above reflect my current mood just at the moment for some reason. All reasonably 'quiet' movies with great atmosphere, visuals and sound ... especially the sound.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Google sent me mail ... SNAIL mail

Sitting in my mailbox --- my physical mailbox, you know, the one out by the road --- when I arrived home this afternoon was an attractive envelope emblazoned in the upper right corner with the Google logo in full colour. Within was a piece of paper, actual pressed moist fibres derived from cellulose pulp, upon which was black and coloured ink formed into shapes resembling the symbols of the Latin alphabet and grouped into white space separated chunks that would result in successful pattern matches in most English language dictionaries. A Letter. What and why was Google sending me?

JUNK MAIL.

I signed up for AdSense a while back and had added Google Ads to the sidebars of this site. As a result of signing up I've been receiving occasional emails telling me about AdWords and that I can buy these things to drive extra traffic to my site. Then I received an email telling me that I can have $75 of free AdWords. A little taster if you will. I ignored this. A little while later --- your chance for $75 free AdWords is coming to an end. Ignore.

Now I have a letter from Google telling me about my $75 worth of free AdWords.

This is a very physical reminder that Google is a business and advertising is their business and they want to sell. At the moment I don't mind the occasional attention as it is easy and low cost to ignore. But, if I start getting telephone calls to tell me about $75 worth of free AdWords just as I am sitting down to eat dinner, I might have to switch to Microsoft. Then again, maybe I have been receiving these phone calls. I have Caller ID enabled on my phone line and if it indicates overseas or private or a number I don't know then I don't pick up. Maybe they really, really, really want my business.