My iPad

My iPad is quickly becoming an indispensable tool. I take it everywhere and use it everyday. I would have to say it’s one of the few technology items that I’m getting full use of.

Some of the apps that I use include the Google apps, Wikipedia Offline, Note Taker HD, iBooks, various games and Numbers. Besides the Apple provided apps that is. It’s useful to have to much information at your finger tips. I may jump on the iPad 3 when it comes out and hand my iPad 1 to my brother or something.

BBQ Pork Ribs

Here’s my recipe for perfect BBQ pork ribs:

  • 5 pounds of pork spare ribs, cut into serving size portions (about 3 ribs each) and distribute into two large Ziploc bags
  • Spices PER BAG:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder (this is the secret ingredient!)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (I like it with a kick)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
Put the cut ribs into two large Ziploc bags.  Add the spices.  Press & squeeze to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible.  Seal tight.  Now you’ll need to massage the bag around ribs for a few minutes to get the spices distributed evenly.  Put in the refrigerator to rest for at least 12 hours.  Every few hours, re-massage & turn over the bag to work the spice mixture into all the pieces.

About an hour from BBQ’ing, take the ribs out of the refrigerator.  Put them all into a large bowl with all of the marinade juices.  Mix thoroughly and let sit to come to room temperature.  Soak wood chips in water (optional).  About 30 minutes before cooking, start the coal and wait until it develops that white coating.  BBQ in a smoker or grill (if using a grill, use indirect heat) for about 3 hours.  After the 3 hours, add more coal and grill directly over the coal for about 15 minutes to crisp it, turning the ribs regularly.
Serve… no sauce needed!

Google’s Free DNS Service

Google’s offering a new free service that I don’t think many have heard about.  It’s new only because I just discovered it; not that it’s recent or anything.  It’s the Google DNS service.  Recently I’ve been having a lot of problems with my ISP’s (Cox Communications High Speed Internet) Internet connection, primarily with DNS lookups.  Oftentimes it would return an error saying that the name can’t be resolved.  In a few minutes it would clear up but it was sure annoying.

About the same time this was happening, I got Vonage service.  This made me think that the problem was with Vonage since it sits between my router and cable modem.  However, even after having re-arrange things by plugging the cable modem directly into the router (like I had it before I followed Vonage’s instructions), I was still experiencing this issue.

That got me to Googling about and I was lead to a variety of free DNS service as an alternative to what my ISP was providing.  One was Open DNS which I tried for a day but it was too slow.  Then I discovered Google DNS.  The main servers are at and – very esay IPv4 addresses to remember!  I changed it on my router’s setup web page to use these DNS servers instead of the ISP’s default.  So far things are great.  Web browsing seems to be a whole lot faster.

I’ll report back on this issue to see if the name resolution issue goes away entirely.

Thai basil chicken

I made some Thai basil chicken for dinner tonight.  It was really fast and tasty.  Here’s how you cook it.  Get some white jasmine rice cooking.  While the rice is cooking, take 2 skinless chicken breasts or 3-4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs and cut them into small bite size pieces.  Get half a head of garlic, smash it and coarsely chop it.  Chop up a piece of ginger, about 1 tablespoon in size when chopped.  Chop up 1 scallion.  Slice 3 Thai peppers thinly.  Chop up a large handful of basil coarsely; you can use more or less depending on your taste.

Heat up a wok until it’s hot.  Add about 3 table spoons of peanut oil (or any vegetable oil).  Wait until it starts to just smoke.  Add the ginger & peppers.  Saute for about 30 seconds.  Quickly add the chicken and saute quickly until cooked through.  About 4-5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic & scallions.  Saute for about 30 seconds.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce, according to your taste.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Saute to mix thoroughly.  Turn off the heat but leave the wok on the stove.  Add the chopped basil and saute for another 30 seconds.

Serve with hot steamed rice & a cold beer.

Netflix raise their prices

Netflix just announced that they’re raising the price of all their monthly plans.  They claim it’s not a price increase but it is.  They say they’re splitting their combined plans into a streaming only plan and a DVD only plan.  If you have both, you’re going to see an increase, especially if you were on the 1 DVD a month plan + unlimited streaming.

As for me, I’m happy about their move.  I promptly cancelled the streaming portion at $8 a month and kept DVD’s.  I have my own use for Netflix and now’s not the time I need their streaming service.

Hacked Panasonic GF1

Well, I did it.  I hacked the firmware of my Panasonic GF1 camera using the official 1.22 Firmware and PTool.  Now my camera’s video capabilities are much improved.  Less compression, higher bitrates, and a better colorspace (420 -> 422).  I’ll play around with it tomorrow and see how it looks in real life.  🙂

Eastern Sierra Time Lapse

This is such a cool video. Good music and great use of time lapse. Whenever I watch something like this it makes me want to go out there and attempt something like this.  I don’t have a head that will auto-rotate like what I’m seeing here so some of these effects I can’t do but damn if I’m not impressed.

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