Monday, May 29, 2017

Bye Bye Lumia 950

After the latest updates, I am throwing in the towel for the the Lumia 950.

I originally got this phone for its camera.  And I would still say that if when it works, it performs better than any other camera phone (and point and shoot in my opinion).  But that is ONLY if it is working.  With the latest updates, the camera app would sometimes crash and worse yet, sometimes even restart the phone.  This was super frustrating as some shots once gone, you can't get back.

The recent trip to Portland clearly shows that it is time to move off of the phone...
a) Phone was draining battery.  Within 2 hours of waking up, the phone would be down to 70% battery.  Maybe the battery is dying after 1.5 years, but this is not the first time the battery drains.  Usually when there are updates approaching or outstanding the phone would go crazy and seemingly do things in the background without you knowing or wanting, causing the battery to drain at times when you need it most (like during the day).

b) The camera (the one thing I really loved about the phone) started crashing whenever I took a photo.  Case and point - 360 shot with the panorama feature would cause the phone to crash and restart for every photo taken.  Imagine going: "ok everyone, say cheese on 3...  1, 2, ah crap.. the app froze... sorry" - That is just sad.

c) GPS/navigation would freeze half the time it is used - not to mention the 'dot' that indicates where you are isn't always correct anymore. What good is an offline map (or online map) with GPS if it can't locate where you are???  Super not cool when trying to navigate and the app just gets 'stuck' while you are driving.

RIP Lumia 950... onto Samsung S8!

Friday, May 26, 2017

First Sous Vide Steak... Success?

Today, got home and decided we would try out the new sous vide that we bought.

Pro: All the things people say are true - the steak does come out really juicy. it is much easier to 'time'.  Very convenient.

Con: The downside though is that usually, it would take < 10 minutes to fry a steak, but with a sous vide, had to put the meat in the pot of water for a little bit over an hour before searing quickly.

Verdict: Taste was good.  In general, was pretty happy with it - but still need to experiment a bit more.  The next test is to see how it performs for meat that has been in the freezer, and also how to really use the 'turn on' from phone feature and not get sick (it is still very non intuitive for me to picture leaving raw meat in a pot of water the whole day, and right before I get home from work, to turn it on...)

Aside: Currently, Serious Eats is my go to for reading about sous vide recipes and science.  For example, their post on how to cook steak: Serious Eats - Sous Vide Steak is a really well written article - talking about what temperature to set to get the desire doneness and basically doing what amounts to a scientific study of how to cook steak with a sous vide.

Other links I found that will prove to be useful in the near future:
Serious Eats - Sous Vide Salmon
Serious Eats - Sous Vide Egg

To Be Continued...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Portland Weekend: Gluttony...

On the way to Portland, went the wrong way 5 times... I guess the late nights watching TV is catching up on me.  But 4 hours later, we arrive!

First time really spending time in Portland, we joined our fellow ex-East Coast lites for a late dinner at Ox.  We overestimated ourselves and ordered wayyyy too much food.  They had a couple interesting dishes.  The octopus was my favorite!

The next day we ate at a pop up with a few transplanted locals and then toured the rose garden that had 3 roses...
...while the rose garden was nothing to call home about, it was a nice walk around the park, given this is the first weekend of good weather this year!

For dinner, we ate at Tusk.  All of us had the Magic Carpet, and we were able to basically try out every dish on the menu!  Needless to say I was super full.

On Sunday, after a late wake up.  We detoured for some chicken and rice before heading towards Cannon Beach.  That hit the spot!  The Ho Nam Chicken Rice from Nong's Khao Man Gai was exactly what we needed after a weekend of non Asian food :P.

Making a pit stop in Astoria, had a flight of Rogue IPAs (and some chicken wings)

Getting to Cannon Beach in the evening, we stayed at an Air BnB that had a stunning view of the famous rock (Haystack Rock).  The place was a couple minutes walk to the beach, and from the living room, because the house is above the beach, there was an unobstructed view to see the rock and the beach.  The only bad part here was that we were only staying here one night!

Some views from the house:

For dinner, we cooked at the Air BnB, making the salmon and the 3 crabs we bought in Astoria.

Gluttonous Mson out!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Culture Day: Wine in a cup!

Went to watch American in Paris today for a little doze of culture.  Booked by lil friend as a mother's day gift, the show was pretty good!  A classic triangle love story that was done really well.

The theater was really nice.  And I purchased a cup that allows for bringing in alcoholic drinks just like in a movie theater.  Have never been so cultured while drinking a full glass of red wine! :)