Saturday, December 5, 2009

1 Christmas time posts

I haven't been able to blog much over the past couple weeks due to work and other life things, but I plan on posting recipes for some of my favorite Christmas food traditions, while also posting reviews and suggestions for the perfect gift for that technical wiz you're trying to find a present for.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 6, 2009

0 Sesame garlic base

Funny thing about this noms post is that I'm doing it while riding the metro, headed to a restaurant named Fogo De Choa, which is this amazing Brazilian steak place that serves you all the steak you can eat. Def best all you can eat restaurant I've been to.

But onto my post, sesame garlic base. Now, I call it a base because it's pretty versatile, change the ingredients a bit and you could have anything from a marinade to a salad dressing. Here's how to make the base:

3 part soy sauce
1 part sesame oil
2 diced cloves garlic per part
3 dashes of ginger
Salt and pepper
Sprinkle of sesame seeds

If you want to turn this base into a marinade, add a little bit of rice wine vinegar to the base, and if you want to turn it into a salad dressing add 1 part olive oil to the base.

Expect some more noms posts this weekend as I will be attending the food convention in dc this weekend.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, October 26, 2009

0 Fixing a broken Windows

So the title of this post summarizes how I feel about Windows 7. I downloaded it from IEEE (thanks little for the info), and upgraded my computer from Vista to 7. Here's my impressions:

Windows 7 really feels like Vista 2.0 to me; it feels like what Microsoft should have delivered two years ago when it came out with Vista, instead of the slow, bogged down black hole of an operating system that's about as annoying as that little fairy from Zelda on the N64. Vista is a demon of an operating system that hogged resources (albeit is slowly getting better with regular Microsoft updates) and tried to hide all of its flaws under a flashy new interface. An interface, which, to those used to Windows' paths was about as confusing as Narnia to navigate.

Now, as a computer engineer, I was taught that an operating system should be minimal, shouldn't hog resources, and should really be a mere tool to whatever you are trying to do on a computer. That is why I do, and will always dual boot in Linux.

But this article is about my honest, geeky impressions of Windows 7. I am pleasantly surprised by how functional and fast this OS is. Windows 7 feels like Microsoft's closest attempt to the textbook definition of what an operating system should be; fast, functional, and easy to use. Microsoft decided to take one from Apple and polish up the task bar (to anyone who has used a Mac, it feels very similar to that now.) and overall succeeded. However I am annoyed that now in my toolbar, I will no longer be able to read if someone has gchatted me while I'm multitasking at my computer. Sigh.

Continued impressions tomorrow...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

0 Noms!

Here's a pretty easy noms, with pictures now included! This is a simple skirt steak recipe.

You need:

1 lb skirt steak (or poultry or fish)
.5c red wine
couple tablespoons soy sauce
couple tablespoons olive oil
2 minced cloves garlic

Then, its as easy as getting a shallow pan, mixing everything but the steak together,

and letting it marinade for a couple hours, flipping the meat periodically.

Then, either on a grill or in the oven, at medium high heat, grill on each side for approximately 4-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

0 Stir Fry Steak and Noodles

Earlier this week I made stir fry steak, and it was really easy to make, really cheap, and lasted me 3 days. You'll need

Stir Fry sauce
1/2 lb of thin steak (when you are at the store, look for steak that is either 1/8 in thick, or on the package it will say that it is good for stir frying)
baby corn
green beans
Favorite oriental noodles

First you'll want to slice the steak into thin bite size strips. You'll also want to slice the carrots into slices (quarter the carrot), slice the mushrooms, and cut the green beans into bite size pieces. Set the veggies aside.

Next you'll want to start boiling your noodle water. You'll also want to oil a frying pan and turn it onto medium high heat. Once the water boils, start boiling the noodles, it should take ~ 6 minutes.

While the noodles boil, put the steak into the pan, and have a wooden spoon in hand to move the steak around, because it will cook pretty quickly. You'll only need to cook it for about 1-3 minutes, until there's no more red.

Put the meat aside, and then add the veggies to the pan. Once again you'll want to keep them moving so they don't burn, and let them cook for about 2 minutes before adding back the meat and 1/2 cup of the stir fry sauce. Coat the meat and veggies.

Next you'll want to take the noodles after they have been strained and add them to the pan, coating them in the sauce while at the same time slightly stir frying them.

After that you're done and ready to eat! Enjoy! I'll add pictures to compliment this later.

Monday, September 7, 2009

0 Future plans for this blogger....

So I haven't quite been so good on blogging lately, not quite sure what I would attribute it to, but I just wanted to let everyone know where I plan to go with this blog.
  • Every Thursday I plan to post a recipe that I've done in the past that I have found as a success, to follow up on my Thursday Night Noms from college.
  • I also plan to experiment with new recipes and new creations I develop at least every other weekend, if not every.
  • It wouldn't be me without a little geek, so I plan to start including reviews of recent video games, technologies or anything of the like. This I figure would be something more rare. Batman Asylum impressions on its way (Cliffnotes, PLAY IT)
  • Finally, I plan on writing something insightful, whether it be a personal experience, or my feelings on news I've read or heard about. I hope to do this once a week to maintain my writing skills.


Courtesy of Catherine and Jimmy

Friday, August 21, 2009

0 Nom!

This week I'm sharing with you guys one of my marinades. This one is my homemade Teriyaki marinade. You'll need:

Soy sauce
Brown sugar
hoison sauce
sesame oil

So there's no real measurement to this, I always mix it to taste. If you want a more salty taste, go heavier on the soy sauce. Sweeter? Heavy on the brown sugar. Spicy? Go super heavy on the hoison sauce.

  1. Put soy sauce in a bowl. Measure between .5c and 1c depending on what you are marinading.
  2. Dump in about .25c of brown sugar.
  3. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, and dump in the bowl.
  4. Add a spoonful of hoison sauce, a splash of sesame oil (don't pour for any more that 1 second), and a sprinkle of pepper and ginger.
  5. Mix it all up
One of my favorite applications of this marinade is pepper steak. For this you'll need a steak that you would marinade (I typically choose thin sirloin). You'll wanna start out by slicing the sirloin against the grain into thin slices. (Against the grain means perpendicular to the lines that run through the meat.) You'll then want to marinade this for 2-3 hours, it shouldn't take long with the thinly sliced meat. Once they are done vacationing in the marinade, turn a skillet onto medium heat, and put the meat into the pan. Cooking the meat shouldn't take too long. You'll want to keep the meat moving periodically so all the pieces cook evenly, and it should only take between 6-10 minutes. As you are cooking the meat, you'll wanna prepare some rice whichever way you feel is easiest. If you wish throw some slices of green pepper into the meat once its halfway through cooking.

Now you have an awesome new marinade and one application to use this with. However, the marinade works well with chicken, or any other meat or vegetable dish. Try it and happy noms!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

0 If you're gonna be careful with your privates in real life...

Why not be careful with them online?

Before reading this post, I'd suggest reading this article just to get a bit of a background on what I'll be talking about:

This article brings up a strikingly good point: If you're going to put something online you want to keep private, yet show to a selected public, you have to be smart and careful about it. The article phrases it best when saying "you are responsible for where you choose to put your private information." Seems simple and straightforward, right? Then why are there so many issues with online privacy, and what site such as Facebook and Twitter are allowed to use for their own commercial use? Below I've listed what I think are relevant issues in the debate of online privacy:

  1. Nothing is for free. So Facebook provides what some would argue is an amazing service to its users; a free online social networking site that allows you to stay up to date with friends, share pictures, send messages between one another, essentially making the phrase "Keep in touch" a whole lot easier. But is it really for free, I mean Facebook has to be able to run their business somehow. Domain names (the way Facebook is actually identified as Facebook), copyrights, iPhone apps, maintenance, innovation, all of these things cost money, yet we're able to use it for free. How so? This leads into my next point.
  2. Contractual agreement. Yeah, that thing you just check off that you've read when we all know that probably only 1% of the population actually reads those things fully. I mean, I'm signing up for a Facebook account, not for the loan on a car, I don't have to worry about anything tricky in the contract? Wrong. I believe the current state of Facebook's EULA is that they have limited use of anything you post on their site. They're providing a service for you to put your private information on their public servers. Its no surprise that just a couple months ago they tried to change their contract to where they owned anything you posted on their website. By you putting your private information on their website, you're also saving a copy of it on the computers they own. That fact alone makes stuff that's private feel a little more public.
  3. And finally, the modern day expectation for technology to work the way we expect it to. Call it a consequence of the dot com boom, the slow evolution of Lazy America, or sheer lack of knowledge of how the stuff in the background actually works. Its becoming more and more common in America for technology to automatically work the way we expect it to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

0 Restaurant review

So since I got the mobile app for blogging I decided to blog at restaurants I eat around dc. Restaurant of the day is Pho75.
It's this Vietnamese restaurant where the menu consists of soups with noodles and some form of beef. The soup had a nice, light taste to it with basil and parsley and nice cooked meat. Also the food only costs $5. Amazing price, amazing deal.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 3, 2009

1 Nom!

Here's another Noms. Quite possibly in my top 3 desserts. It's called Smores Brownies!


6 Tbsp melted butter
1.5 c crushed graham crackers (plain flavor)
2 Tbsp sugar
Dash of salt (to bring out the flavors)


Favorite Brownie mix

1 bag of Small Marshmallows
  1. Preheat the oven to 325, and spray or butter your square pan.
  2. Crust: This is the most complicated part of the entire recipe. Mix all the ingredients in the square pan, then flatten the mixture out into a flat crust. The way I do this is I either just use my hands, or butter the bottom of a flat cup and use that.
  3. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  4. Mix the brownie mixture while the crust bakes, and pour the batter into the crust when the crust is done. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the brownies are done.
  5. Remove the Brownies and turn the oven onto Broil (this simulates a grill in your oven by the way)
  6. When the oven is ready, cover the brownies with the marshmallows, and put the brownies back in for 1-2 minutes, until the marshmallows are nice and toasted. ENJOY!

0 Best SNL Skit of the 21st Century

Friday, July 31, 2009


So we're in NYC filling up at this sketch little BP in Brooklyn on the way to Carrie lynn's. I am seriously in awe of this place here's a night shot of the empire state building.

-- Post From My iPhone7700 Bull Run Drive

Saturday, July 25, 2009

1 Fun night!

Last night after work I went to CarPool with the roomies, Maddox, Sarah, Feng, and Doug. CarPool is this cool bar type place with lots of pool tables, dart boards hogged by the same 4 jerks the whole night, half price appetizers, and an obsession for Britney Spears. Seriously.

After that I went to Clarendon Ballroom with Courtney! Fun stuff!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, July 24, 2009

0 Blogging on the go!

I can now blog from my iPhone! Be ready for crazy posts! Starting with me blogging from silver diner in Arlington waiting for Courtney! Yay chocolate creme pie! ...or at least half an eaten piece!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1 Nom it!

So I figured I would start this weekly recipe thing, where I share one of my favorite recipes with everyone who reads this so they can try them. I promise that for anything I post, anyone ANYONE could make.

My first post is inspired by some strawberries I bought today, its a Balsamic Strawberry Salad.

All you need in order to make a salad that will serve about 4 people:
  1. One head of Romaine lettuce
  2. Strawberries, anywhere from 6-12 depending on the size
  3. Balsamic Vinegar
  4. Olive oil
  5. Honey
  6. Mozzarella cheese
  7. S&P (salt and pepper)
  8. Small amount of lemon juice
So, it seems like a lot of stuff, but really, its just the lettuce, the strawberries, some cheese, and the stuff to make the dressing.

1. What you'll wanna do with the lettuce is just break a head of lettuce into smaller, bite size pieces. The easiest way to do it is just peel the leaves off and rip them into bite size pieces. I suggest this because its cheaper than the pre-cut bag variety, and saves some money.

2. For the strawberries, you want to rinse them in cold water, and then just slice them into smaller pieces.

3. For the mozzerella, either buy the pre-shredded variety, or do what I do and buy the block of mozzerella cheese, and then dice it into small cubes. The blocks them selves are typically a dollar or 2 more expensive, however the block variety is actually much cheaper if you compare the price per unit. Yet another money saving tip!

4. Next is the salad dressing. This part I'd say is where the dressing is really up to you. First you'll want to pour some vinegar into a bowl, and then with a whisk or a spoon, whisk the vinegar as you slowly poor oil into it. By slowly pouring it as you whisk, it'll emulsify the dressing, and really mix it well. I personally suggest about 1/4 cup vinegar and between 1/4 and 3/8 cup oil, but really the proportions depend upon how you want the dressing to taste. The dressing gives the salad the flavor so balance the vinegar flavor to your liking. After you've mixed it, whisk in a small squirt of honey for some sweet ness, and a small bit of lemon juice for some acid. Add S&P to taste.

5. Finally, get everything into a big bowl, and toss the salad to coat everything in the dressing.

Enjoy, this salad is pretty enjoyable, especially in the summer!

0 Sunday's Sundae

Below is the largest ice cream cone ever made. Nom it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

0 Current Story of my Life

The Title pretty much says it all....

On unrelated news, I'm halfway through my work week, and the weekend has prospects of a Little Beef Laser Tag! So effing excited.

0 Where do we go from here?

So I have an amazing job, a great place to live, and a strong group of friends and family. So, where do I go from here?

With settling in and finally feeling relaxed in a regular routine, I'm starting to wonder about where I'll be another 4 years from now. I've gotten past all the predefined 4 year land marks of younger life (elementary school, middle school, high school, college) which all gave you knowledge of where you would be for the next couple years. With this next stage of life, I don't have that. I have certainty that I am going to be working, but aside from that, where am I going?

Ps, I'm keeping this strictly professional, screw thoughts of dating, marriage, and babies right now. I'll let all my friends handle that right now.

I think I've come to the conclusion that within 5 years I'm going to want to have a Master's (either in Software Engineering, Software Design, or Management). My major will end up depending upon what I fall in love with doing the next year or two. Also, I don't know how realistic this is, but I'd LOVE to be a Senior Engineer, or somewhere in least a E2...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

0 xkcd truth

This is so true....source

0 Kayaks and fireworks!

Fourth of July was so much fun!

I went kayaking with some college and work friends on the Potomac, which felt reminiscent of crew, only way more fun and free of douchey jerks. We kayaked under the Key Bridge in DC, and went to some island that had the Teddy memorial. I discovered that this is one of the enjoyable differences between real life and college life. In college, I couldn't afford to spend 5 hours on a weekend kayaking (both in terms of money and time), but after college, weekends are kinda a time to find hobbies, experience new things. A couple of my friends and I have already started planning out what may be a trip to Great Falls or the Blue Ridge to go hiking. Oh the glories of no Stacks, Small, Olsson, Thorton, or any small cave I may have hidden myself in previously during school.

After going kayaking, my work friends and I went into DC to see the fireworks. They were amazing as usual, however I feel they were shorter this year in comparison to others, and kinda left me wanting more. Stupid economy.

Oh, and screw you Federer. Screw you. Maybe next time Roddick.

Friday, July 3, 2009

0 Things I want.

1. More fun summer weekends! (whether that involves more Cville trips, hiking trips with roomies and coworkers, etc...)
2. Figure out some sort of plan for the next 2 years. Nothing crazy, just something more than "work"
3. No more marriages, at least until I feel not super young! (save a few exclusions)
4. BSG 4.5 Marathon with Zak, Rachel, and anyone else who would partake.
5. More service opportunities. I know there are a huge amount here, and a huge amount of opportunity at Raytheon, I just have to be more assertive in my hunting. I guess having projects handed to me weekly just ain't gonna happen anymore....
6. Culinary Classes!
7. Rowing/Canoe/Kayak lessons!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1 Midsummers revelation

This is a short post cause I'm sleepy, but here's a revelation from midsummers...

Friendship, bonds, relationships, whatever you call it, is at its core that rush of excitement and energy at seeing and being around others who you can't see on a regular basis, and that warm comfy feeling of home you get while around them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

0 Leftovers from last night

Last night several of us hung out and had fun, and at one point I had a really good conversation with Caitlin and about the transition of college to real life. Now on Friday I went out with Feng, another new hire who's from Illinois and therefore new to VA, at one point we had a kinda similar conversation. Starting out with the conversation with him, we discussed being in a place you've grown up, and gone to college at, and therefore having a well established network of friends and people you associate yourself with. He posed the question about whether I had ever thought about moving to another state far enough away that the convenience of having friends close by is gone; where you have to pretty much prove to yourself that you can make it on your own, and survive in an unfamiliar setting. Its something I contemplated doing during my job search, and I didn't come across the opportunity to give it much thought since all my offers for jobs were in state. Giving it more thought however, I don't feel as though that I would really have the guts to do things similar to Feng or others I know from UVa who have made that large leap to unfamiliar territory.

This conversation flowed over to last night, when others and I discussed how relationships developed in college have that inherent convenience of being able to go grab a lunch with someone, be library buddies, or even just have the opportunity to just randomly run into one of your friends. When you graduate college, you leave that convenience behind in multiple ways. In one way, the way you interact with friends you developed in college changes; you can no longer just randomly run into them, or go walk five minutes to a house. The relationships from college lose their convenience, and you have to put a constant effort into your daily schedule to try to maintain those relationships. This isn't a bad thing at all, because the moments you have on gchat or via text message/phone call are still completely fun and enjoyable. Furthermore, the instances where you go to visit and see these people you consider best friends whom live hours away are amazing and exciting.

The other way in which this convenience leaves is that meeting new people, finding new friends become SO much harder after college. Thus far, I've made two new friends, and these are people I have met through work. Don't even ask me how your supposed to meet new people in the "real world," other than making a ridiculous interview tape for MTV to get on a show that in no way resembles the real world. Its an adjustment to something that many of us have been used to for 4 years, and is something that there's sadly no easy little handbook that has a 5 step program of how to adjust to a new lifestyle.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

0 Braving new territory

Last night I went out with one of my coworkers who I met on Monday. He just moved into the area from Illinois, so he came to a new area where he didn't know anyone. While discussing all sorts of stuff, we got on the subject of braving new territory, seeing things you haven't seen, going off and living somewhere for at least a year without knowing anyone in the area, and if you can sanely, economical, and socially do well.

This discussion kinda made me wonder if I would be able to or not, I know this past year when thinking of it one of the reasons I would take anything in my home state is because it would be so close to the ones I love. I dont know if I'd quite have the will to do so. So to those of you who read this, what do you think (not quite necessarily about me, but about yourselves and in general?).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

0 Geek out time

To those who are not as nerdy as I, E3 is a video game/technology expo held in the beginning of June which is the time major publishers unleash their secrets to get a share of the market. These are the titles I'm looking forward to purchasing when they eventually come out... (Image credits to

1. Legend of Zelda Wii

Above is the game I'm probably most excited about. Nintendo has released the above image to prevent fanboys from throwing their Wiis out the window in the event of no tangible Zelda news. The main rumors are the girl (which looks an awful lot like the master sword) is going to be the Master Sword, if not some form of a weapon. I'm personally hoping (and predicting) she'll end up being able to turn into a variety of things, such as a sword or's hoping to creativity. Another bonus is that LoZ Wii will use the Motion Control + (more on that later).

2. Metroid: Other M

This gem right here was a complete surprise, as there was no indication that Nintendo would reveal such a thing. This is another entry in the Metroid series, and from the looks of it will be quite a mature adventure and potentially something amazing.

3. Super Mario Galaxy 2

The next entry in Super Mario Galaxy, should be just as good if not better than the first. Biggest addition revealed so far, playing with this guy:

4. New Super Mario Bros Wii

Another Mario title, only this is like the originals, with multiplayer. Seems to be promising. More new costumes, more insanity, and hopefully more fun.

There's my geek out moment, I'd throw a BSG timeline theory up here, but way too many ppl haven't seen 4.5 yet. (woot to it coming out in a month and to The Plan in the fall!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

0 Work life balance?

Personal goal of the month: get a work life balance, I need to do more during the week than work, exercise, eat and sleep...if anyone has any amazing insight into this, lemme know...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1 Reflections, baseballs, whifbee, WORKKKKK

So, as I said in my first post, I wanted to write down my thoughts and close out all the reflecting I've done in the past 2 months. But I also wanted to share where I'm at, and what I'm looking forward to.

I guess reflections for me started before the thesis was done, and around the time of APO banquet. I had only attended one, and through what I witnessed and experienced, I held it in my mind as a time of reflection, open thoughts (even though that forum should always exist...), and respect for those who have paid their dues (both literally and figuratively). Coming into it, I had no clue what to say to those I'd be leaving, and frankly didn't feel I had anything wise to share that had not been shared before. After getting there of course, and while playing LOOFA bingo (thanks Mark) I learned how I had felt about my college experiences, and how they shaped the person I am today. I came into college a shy introverted person, not proud of who he was, and left with what I was missing before college. I found confidence, BSG, cooking skillz that killz, myself, my strength, and most importantly I found those that I could never see life without, those who complete my crazy wacked out family. As JD said in the video I posted previously, "It's all about the people that you let into your life."

Which pretty much leads into the immense feelings of pride I realized I had for not just those I surround myself with, but with myself. Thesis. Done. Finally. That is what I felt when I turned it in, although I admit that sadly I didn't have a rush of pride, excitement, or anything of that nature after initially turning it in. I don't know if it was sleep deprivation, effing 436, or a comment about my thesis that I'd rather forget that caused that. However, after a phone conversation to let one of my APO littles know I had turned it in had that feeling of pride started to well up and really start to sink in. With that thesis done, I was effectively done with what was frankly 4 years of scholastic hell.

Which all of this led to a beach week (which at some points were rather overwhelming with the degree of craziness...I kinda wanted to creep back into my cave) that despite some craziness I loved and enjoyed. Being able to spend that time with 2 of my closest friends throughout college, my group of ridiculous but amazing service-doers, and the friends and littles that defined my fun part of fourth year was totally worth it, and a good way to wrap up the college experience. And I will never forget the amazing hell that is polish/APP poker.

Graduation happened, it was a whirlwind, got a HUGE piece of paper, sat through a boring speech, took some pictures, ate some food, and finally took a deep breath of relief. I feel like everything above kinda summarizes the graduation feeling.

After graduating, I had to get my own car, which, I DID! I got a blue, Honda Insight Hybrid, and I love it. Its not the raptor of CMelt's that I saw at beach week, but the best name that I have for it right now is Bumblebee (thanks lil). Yay car.

Although related to the car, for those who have yet to encounter it, real life is swarmed with disgusting paperwork. And I have a dreadful feeling it will not go away.

So right now my quality of writing is decreasing, along with my inspiration, so I'll continue with these thoughts later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

1 old, busted, yet fresh and new

So following in the tracks of several of my friends who have graduated, I decided to start up a blog (only after recently starting to read blogs) to have an easy way to convey what's on my mind and let friends follow up on what I've been doing (if any of them actually wish to do so lol).

So, past month...major events....thesis completed, graduated college, bought a car, moved to NOVA, and starting my job in just a few days. As of now I wanted to just get a first post out there, but thoughts and reflections on the past month and 4 years of my life are soon to follow, along with my looking ahead. Cliffnotes version, alot of it was actually summarized in the Scrubs finale, in the following clip (don't watch if you don't want the finale to be spoiled.)