Clone Wars!

November 2008:

Clone wars!

At last back amongst the surviving packets on the grand isobaric terrain of the intArweb.  In my travels I have seen many lonely deserted packets, dropped needlessly from their groups… 8, 32, thousands… why do they not care for the feelings of a single packet, leaving them to separate into fragments of bits at our very feet.  But behold, I have before me packets folded to my bidding.  Networks staged on the very air over my living establishment are now mine, MINE, at my very bidding… my beckoned call to bow upon my every whim and desire.

Oh yes… I have internet access now.  Clandestinely perhaps, but I never claimed to be a Greenpeace activist.  I’m not armed enough for that role, yet.

June 2010:

Time progresses and this blog consists of things I have ran across and/or learned within the last 2 years.  In some cases, simply being a documentation for me to refer to later, along with sharing to the rest of the world.  I forget more than I ever type, sadly.
No longer am I clandestinely pirating airwaves to gain ‘net access.  I find my own connection to be far more sound.  That, and I can afford it now ;)

Tempeh Incubator

Having made one test run making tempeh for the first time at home, I decided I’m going to be making it regularly so I wanted to make a solidly built incubator. After looking around on the net, I ran across a website from a professional tempeh maker that had a pretty nifty incubator setup. (http://www.makethebesttempeh.org/how-to-make-a-tempeh-incuba.html)
I learned quite a bit while making this, and I’m still fine tuning it because of some cheap equipment not functioning as it’s supposed to. I picked up a relatively inexpensive air pump , but after 24 hours of using it the temperature kept being increased by it. I didn’t realize it until the end, when I did some tests and removed the air stone and minute by minute the temperatures dropped. I put it back in, and the temperature increased yet again.

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I took one thing from this: Never cut corners on the key components.  I’m repurchasing a water heater & air pump due to my decision to go inexpensive.  I’ve also learned that after 10 hours, the tempeh’s self-created heat from the fermentation will collect quite a bit in this well insulated container.  The water does a great job of distributing the temperature, but I found myself needing to drop ice into the water to bring it down from 92 degrees as it kept climbing higher and higher.  After I purchase a new air pump, I’m going to see how things work out.  Worse case scenario, I will use my geek powers to fabricate a water chiller with temperature controller.

Outside of the incubator, this is how I did tempeh, which will probably change soon:

  • Collect 3 cups soybeans, and crack them in grain mill (I use kitchenaid grain mill on coursest setting)
  • soak cups soybeans overnight
  • rinse soybeans and cook for 30 minutes
  • drain soybeans, and dry them well.
    NOTES: There are many ways to do this, but I’ve done both of these:
    1) put soybeans in bowl, and use a hair dryer on soybeans while stirring, until they are well dried.
    2) Put soybeans into a pillow case with zipper, and put into dryer. (THIS WORKED WONDERFULLY FOR ME)
  • Put dried soybeans in bowl & stir in 1 teaspoon white vinegar very well
  • Put 1 teaspoon tempeh starter culture into soybeans and stir in very well (for 2-3 minutes)
  • Make sure water bath in incubator is at 86-88, and put soybeans into stainless steel hotel pan.  Evenly spread them over the entire pan, patting down.
  • Place pan into incubator, make sure air pump & heater are running, then put the lid of the cambro container back on.
  • Note the time.  10-12 hours later is time to examine and make sure the temperatures are okay.
  • Periodically view the temperature to make sure it doesn’t skyrocket over 91-92 degrees F.  It’s not that it can’t go that high, it’s just not conducive for good growth.
  • After 10 hours, heat will be generated by the soybeans from fermentation.  White coating of mycelium should be visible by 12-14 hours.  It will thicken as time goes on.
  • It is possible to stop at 24 hours, but I recommend 30 hours due to protein fermentation that occurs which makes it taste better.
  • When it’s time, pull the tray and let it cool to room temperature.
  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and cook tempeh for 35-40 minutes to pasteurize.
  • Pull from oven, and let cool.  It’s ready to be cut/shaped/used for food!

Before

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After

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I have cut tempeh into squares the first time and cooked in a pan.  I’ve decided for now that tempeh will be replacement for hamburger patties & the remains will be chopped and used as filler with anything else being made.

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Making Tempeh with Sous Vide

After getting everything needed, I’ve taken the time to make a new food at home, tempeh!
[I’ll include a quick list of foods needed at the bottom if you want to skim through this]

It’s a fermented food originating from Indonesia.  Describing what it is could throw some people off, I know.  The thing to realize is, bacteria & different molds are in nearly every food we eat on a daily basis.
Tempeh is a food that can be made with soy beans, barley, and quite a few other media.  That media is fermented, bound together by a natural culture, and forms a solid body.  That body can be cut into various shapes depending upon needs.  I’ve personally just cut a patty, cooked it as I would a hamburger patty with a little olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  It has an earthy taste, with subtle nuttiness, and also takes on flavors of marinades to add to it.  The reason for this for me is because soy beans have quite a few things in them that inhibit the human body from digesting the nutrients contained within.  When you ferment, the process in a way pre-digests the bean contents, with an end result the human body can easily absorb.  It’s also frickin awesome to experiment with new food types for me, especially when it’s scientific.

ON TO HOW TO DO IT!

To start, you’ll need to source a supply of tempeh culture & soybeans.

The tempeh culture could be either Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae.  For a first time, I went with Rhizopus oligosporus.  My supplier is TempeStarter/IndoPal (www.tempestarter.com) based in Indonesia, and I’m in Arizona USA.  I picked up a 120 gram package which was $16.95 + $8.95 shipping.  The 1 teaspoon I used wasn’t alot, I’d say there’s about 15-20 teaspoons in there.

I have a sous vide circulator/cooker made by Anova that inserts into water, then runs a circulator along with heating the water to the temperature I program it with.  This entire process can be modified however you wish.

  • I used soy beans from Laura soy beans (http://www.laurasoybeans.com) that I buy to make soy milk due to my lactose intolerance.  Non-GMO, and always great quality.
  • I first took 2 cups of soy beans & soaked them for a day in water at room temperature.
  • I then drained, and placed in fresh water.
  • The hulls need to be removed, so I kneaded the beans (at times rubbing bunches of them between my hands) to brush the hulls off.  This is what takes most of the time.
  • I then washed the beans again, dumping the hulls out as they floated to the top.  (I used my garbage disposal, but you can use whatever method)
  • Then, put beans in pot, add water until beans are just covered, & add 4 teaspoons vinegar, bring water to a boil.
  • Simmer for 35 minutes.
  • Drain and remove the remaining boiled off hulls
  • Put beans into large bowl, and using a hair dryer stir & blow dry the beans.  Don’t skimp on this, dry them until they’re dry to the touch – the starter doesn’t do well with moisture on the outside of the beans at the beginning.
    (This can be done with a dehydrator at about 115 as well)
  • Add 1 teaspoon of starter/culture, sprinkling it throughout.  Stir in VERY good through the entire body of beans.
  • Add to 9×13 rectangular cooking pan (mine was glass), and spread evenly, patting down once done.

I used a 13-gallon cambro container filled with water, and inserted the sous vide circulator with it set to 88 degrees.  (the image shows 90’s because tap water came out hot, it cooled and tempeh culture can handle up to 99-100 degrees)

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Once the temp is stabilized, it’s ready.  I placed the cooking pan like a boat into the water, verifying the water level on the outside of the pan was alright.  I then placed plastic wrap over the top of the container to capture the heat in the air (for the top of the tempeh), then set a timer for 30 or so hours.
Once you pull the pan, put it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes covered, which will stop the fermentation completely.  Before putting it into the oven, you can place marinades into the pan.  When the tempeh is warm, it absorbs the marinades much better.

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For those that are wanting to know how to gauge how things are going, you probably won’t see anything for the first 10 hours.  About then is when the activity starts happening, and heat is produced by the tempeh. (absorbed by the water)

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You can pull the cooking pan anywhere from 24-48 hours, but my recommendation is to wait until between 30-36 hours.  The second stage of fermentation starts at about 30 hours at 88 degrees, and produces a more fuller taste.  I pulled mine at 32 hours, and it was awesome.

IMG_2404
T
he above image is after I cooked the pieces in olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  I added a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce to give it a little spiciness, as well.

Storage:
Tempeh will not last very long at room temperature, approximately 4-5 days at most.  You can either refrigerate or freeze them.

QUICK LIST OF FOODS NEEDED:

  • Tempeh starter/culture – http://www.tempehstarter.com
    • Tempeh Starters (Rhizopus Oligosporus ) 120 Grams Cap Jago (there are others, you can choose yours, this is mine)
  • Soy Beans – http://www.laurasoybeans.com
    • Whatever package size you want, just be careful not to get sprouting/natto soy beans unless you’re doing something else.  This needs regular soy beans.

Getting External IP Address from Ubee brand Cox Cable Modem

I’m sure there are others in this world that have Cox cable internet with an Ubee brand cable modem/Wireless access point. I’m sure within that crowd of people, a few are looking to find a way to get the external IP allocated to your connection. (the IP of the cable modem from the outside world)
I run Unix (Linux & Unix actually), and this is what I use from the command line:

get http://192.168.0.1/RgSetup.asp –http-user=user –http-password=MYPASSWORD -qO- | grep -o ‘[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}’ | head -1

Replace MYPASSWORD with the password you use to login to the web interface of the Ubee cable modem. Also, be sure to escape the special characters in your password with a backslash ( \ ) when you use it in the commandline, or else they won’t work.
This will simply spit out the IP address allocated at that time.

Hope this helps someone!

Clean Install of OS X Yosemite from Flash Drive

I know I wrote another article earlier about installing OS X from CD. Well, it came time to fix a screw-up I made. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but while messing around with Parallels desktop I activated bootcamp and I couldn’t activate filevault to have an encrypted disk. NOT a good thing for me, since it’s a laptop and if this thing walks away (LIKE MY LAST ONE) then the information won’t be protected.

So, the first thing I did was made sure I had OS X Yosemite downloaded from the App Store. It saves to the Application folder, by default.  Also, now is a good time to toss on an external disk and make a time machine backup of your system.  I use a 1TB external portable disk drive.  If you’re looking to start fresh, don’t worry about it then.
You’ll need a USB flash drive to hold the installation software with at least 8GB space. Mine was 32GB, which is more than 8GB, so I was okay.

How to Create Bootable USB Flash Drive

First, create bootable USB flash drive. Here is how you do it, courtesy of Redmond Pie:

Plug in your USB drive into the computer and open Disk Utility (in Applications).
Select the USB drive from the left sidebar and click on Erase tab.
Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in the format box and let the name be Untitled (default).
Now click on Erase button and wait until the format process completes.
Then choose Partition tab and select 1 Partition from Partition Layout dropdown menu. Click on Option and ensure GUID Partition Table is selected as the partition scheme, with its name set to Untitled.
After downloading the OS X 10.10 Yosemite installer from the Mac App Store, just quit the installer and set the downloaded file’s name to Install OS X Yosemite.app.
Launch the Terminal app (in Applications/Utilities) and type or paste the following command in, and then hit Enter:
sudo “/Applications/Install OS X Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia” –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath “/Applications/Install OS X Yosemite.app” –nointeraction
Note: The code above has missing double dashes in the quotes. Please replace a single “-” with “- -” when you enter the above command line in the terminal.

This will create the bootable USB flash drive. This takes between 10-20 minutes. Do not interrupt the Terminal or eject the flash drive during the process. Once the process completes, you will see the message “Copy Complete. Done.”
The OS X Yosemite bootable USB flash drive will be ready for use and you can start the clean installation process.

After that’s done, keep the USB flash drive in and reboot.  When the start-up sound comes, hold down the “option” key.  After  a while, the partitions available will appear and you can choose it then hit <enter>.

Once the installer pops up, select disk utility and continue.
Click on the Macintosh HD on the left hand pane and click erase tab on the upper right of the window.  click the erase button at the bottom right.  This is going to wipe your startup disk.

Once it’s done, go to the first screen and select Install OS X, then continue.

Select the partition you just erased, then Install.

If everything was done right, the system will install the operating system.  You will be prompted along the way for the time machine disk to complete the configuration.  This is what I did, and it’s easy to select what you want to have migrated into the new operating system.

Of course, afterwards it’s time to make your new OS your very own and customize as you wish :)

Greek Yogurt (with my sous vide)

It’s a pretty straight forward to some, but I’ve successfully made greek yogurt using whole milk using my sous vide circulator/cooker.  I’ve looked for ways to hold a temperature at 105-110 degrees fahrenheit guaranteed for 24 hours.  Until now, it was hit or miss for me.  I recently purchased an Anova brand sous vide cooker/circulator for cooking chicken/beef/vegetables/fish at an even temperature unsupervised as I do other things.  It’s also positively perfect for 24-hour yogurt incubation!

anova yogurt incubationIn this picture you can see the Cambro brand polycarbonate container holding 5 gallons of water.  The Anova sous vide cooker you can see mounted to the corner, with the digital controls on the top displaying 108.9.  The picture was taken during warming up.  I fill 1 1/2 gallon (64-oz) Mason jar to the bar just above 6 cups with milk.

First I pre-warm the water to 110 degrees fahrenheit.  I’ve have no issues with the whole milk in my area needing to be pasteurized (again) as most yogurt recipes always say to do.   then I add 3 tablespoon yogurt starter into the milk.  I use plain yogurt (purchased in large container) that has at least 5 bacteria strains on the label.  I then make sure it’s stirred in very well, and throw a sealed lid onto the mason jar.  Then, I toss the mason jar in with water up to the lid (not over it) and cover the top with saran wrap/plastic wrap.    It keeps some of the heat in, and keeps the water from evaporating.  Make sure the sous vide cooker is set to 110 degrees.  That’s it for the incubation!  Just set the timer for 24 hours, and come back.

Once 24 hours is up, grab a large strainer (not a handheld on, more the size of a colander so it can hold the yogurt) and line it with a double layer of cheese cloth.  I personally don’t use cheese cloth, as I prefer muslin cloth which I picked up at Joann fabrics for cheap.  I use it to cover mason jars while incubating water kefir & kombucha, along with fine straining.  Then once it’s lined, put the strainer into a bowl or pot (suspended by a small jar/cup or something, to give room for the whey to collect).  After, pour the entire bottle of yogurt into the lined strainer in the bowl/pot, then put that into the fridge.  Give it at least 4 hours to strain naturally.

That’s pretty much all it takes!  Now the only thing you need to do is scoop the super thick yogurt from the fabric and put it into the container of your choice.  I find that it’s 50% yogurt, 50% whey when it’s finished.  Save the whey if you want to use the protein!  It makes a great replacement for water in some recipes, in smoothies to add nutrition, or add it into the water while making bread in a bread making machine.  It has a nice amount of protein and other nutrients that are great for your health.

The sous vide way of cooking takes all the real work out of it, from my times of doing it.  It’s so brainless to heat the sous vide to 110, pour milk to a line on a mason jar, scoop yogurt starter in, stir it up, cap it, then toss it in for 24 hours.

Pain from prosthetic

I’m taking this time to unload because this is becoming so mentally tiresome and emotionally burdensome.  It seems like no matter how hard I try, I’m not able to get a prosthetic that will operate without pain as an everyday thing.  The pain is minimal at first – a little skin rubbing and the tap of the end of your leg against the inside.  After a while, it becomes more pronounced.  The bottom of your limb larger than your limb after a full day of walking around, the sensation of things you know can’t be happening, and that constant ache.  Both mental and physical ache for me.  I want to run again, and my leg after half a day literally feels like I have maggots eating away at my dieing flesh.  The pain spikes with every movement of my leg then.

I’m trying to work through this piece by piece, but right now I’m breaking down.  I’ve lost enough with friends and loved ones dieing, and losing my identity slowly the last 2 years.  I want to walk like a man.  I want to be a man again… Without the constant pain masked by me so no one else knows.