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😉

Soylent Week 3

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Having looked at the calendar, I have finished week 3 of soylent meals.  I’ve found during this time that the mind controls quite a bit of your desires, whether you need something or not.  During this 3 weeks, I was not hungry very often, and when I was it nighttime before bed.  Drink water and it goes away.  In spite of this, my mind created ever growing desires to eat food.  I’ve never felt that feeling before, but it’s a lot like when you quit smoking.  I fell to the desire and went to eat sushi twice along with a quesadilla at lunch one day.  I’ll say this, it felt like a pleasure-response training when I did because there was a physical feeling of euphoria that’s only caused by mind-induced hormonal changes.  With that thought…

I’m hitting week 4 of soylent meal replacement, and everything has been going well.  I actually have more energy since including this as my meal.  One change did occur since I started, and that is the soylent version changing from 1.5 to 1.6.  This change was a big change actually, since the main protein was from rice in 1.5, while 1.6 replaced it with a soy protein.  The fats are from algal oils (dehydrated with maltodextrin) now instead of other powder forms.  This part might be too much information for some just a warning:
With 1.5, the rice protein during digestion created a gas that was quite… unpleasant.  It really was like you walked into a sewer.  With 1.6, that has changed almost completely.  I’m not sure if it was the soy protein change, or a subtle variation of other changes.  It’s a lot more smooth, and reminds me a lot of the 2.0 version with a subtle savoriness to make it last in your stomach.  (2.0 is 400 kcal, 1.6 servings are 500 kcal)

Since I’m near 1 month of Soylent usage, I’ve decided to widen my research a bit and try other brands that are out.  One company that competes with Soylent is named Joylent and based in the Netherlands.  I geeked out while researching, and created a spreadsheet comparing nutritional data:

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I decided I’d try the vegan version (I’m lactose intolerant), and that has the following nutritional data (same price):

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It has more protein and more carbohydrates, but less sugar.  I should receive it in 2-3 weeks so we’ll see how it stacks up.  I have 3 more weeks of Soylent 1.6 in stock here, so I’ll post again in another week or two if any difference occur.  Otherwise, once Joylent gets here I’ll post more.

 

Soylent meal replacement

After finding myself trying to change my dietary patterns but availability, memory, and work location, have kept me at bay for the last 3-5 years.  Over the last year or two, I’ve found my balance of time for eating versus time for work have made it impossible to drive to a location that has decent food and then pay extraordinarily high prices on top of it for something “healthy”.  Yes, I can bring it from home but that’d require more time stolen from the remaining 3-4 hours of being at home to do something other than not relax.  I’ve found myself going to Carl’s Jr (Hardee’s on the east coast of the USA), Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, & other places of the same style.  Not good, even though it’s available.  I decided enough is enough, I can’t afford it much less let my body take it.

I’ve followed an experiment called euphemistically “Soylent” since it first was being used in 2013.  At first it wasn’t what I wanted to dive into since I’d have to put too much time and experimentation into making things tolerable for my body.  Since then, it’s been taken seriously many and LOTS of changes have been made.  Different ingredients tested, and more refined processes created to make the ingredients.

Since things have come to the point of a stable drink, I decided to try it out.  I first tried the Soylent 2.0 bottled version, which is it’s own version.  It’s more expensive than the powdered version for obvious reasons, and for me the taste consistency wasn’t to my liking.  It was okay, but it just didn’t have that satisfaction.  Which is fine, I tried it.  I still have them around and I have one drink a day sometimes.

After trying the bottled version, I tried a week of the powdered version.  It comes with a free pitcher & stainless steel measuring cup for the first time purchase, as well.  The measuring cup is specific for the serving of soylent powder to use.  For 500 kcal that would be 4 scoop water, 2 scoop powder.  I’ve found it easier to go the pitcher method to make an entire days worth, but the mindset needs to be different then.  The same amount of water to powder doesn’t work I’ve found, so what I’ve done is put 2 or so inches of water in the pitcher, 1/4 bag of powder into the pitcher, close and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds, open, repeat.  OR use a blender, which is just easier but using the pitcher means less to wash/clean and it gives you a reason to exercise.  After all the powder is in, fill the pitcher with water and shake to get it all mixed.  Yeah, I know it sounds like lots of shaking but it doesn’t seem like it when it’s done.  I have 4 18 oz glass bottles that I fill equally once the bottle is chilled in the fridge.  I purchased the bottles from Amazon: https://amzn.com/B016APS3CU

So far I’ve been starting a week of only Soylent 1.5 (powdered version) since yesterday, and this is my second day.  It’s surprisingly been nutritious, and hasn’t left me feeling starved or even hungry.  I drink 4 bottles a day (usually every 3 or so hours) slowly, since it is food and not a beverage.

This is the start, and I plan on trying this for a month or two and see how things go.  I think I chose a good time too, as version 1.6 just came out and will be at my doorstep in a day or so.  They changed rice protein to soy protein, and a couple of other changes that change the fat profile to be better.  I’ll post more in a week or so.

How To Make An Extra Disk Partition Remain Unmounted On Boot

After buying another iMac to replace the one that was stolen a while back,  I was setting up the disk partitions and noticed that when I created a recovery partition it would automatically be mounted when the system boots up.  I don’t like this since that means anything could erroneously enter the partition by a simple background oops.  I know Linux/Unix, but the Apple uniqueness made me research for a while.

I’m not going to stretch this out since it’s relatively simple.  Open Disk Utility (Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility) then select the partition in question and select the “Info” button at the top.  Copy the Universal Unique Identifier value (the string to the right) to TextEdit or some other note taking utility.

Open Terminal (open spotlight, and type “Terminal“).  Type “sudo vifs“, and you will be prompted for your password.  Type it and once you hit enter a editor will appear.  Press ‘i’ on the keyboard, then enter the following line with your information (replace YOURUUID with the UUID you copied a little earlier):

UUID=YOURUUID none hfs rw,noauto

Press your escape key (esc) and type “:wq” to write and quit.  Once you are back at the command prompt, type the following to tell the system the changes were made:

sudo automount -vc

After a system reboot, the partition will remain unmounted at boot time.

This is how, after creating my recovery partition, I keep it out of sight unless needed.

Yerba Mate

Being geeky and explorative has it’s plus sides.
I was trying out different types of teas one by one, and ran across the type of tea called ‘mate’.  For the most part it’s included as fusions with other teas, such as “Java Mate”.  In fact, that’s how I was introduced to it.  I purchased “JavaVana Mate” from Teavana because I wanted a tea that was like coffee.  When I was at Teavana I tried a sampling and fell in love with the idea of an alternative to coffee but with the texture and consistency.  Unfortunately, it seems that Teavana has discontinued JavaVana Mate, but I ran across Churchill Teas (www.churchillteas.com) and they carry Java Mate.  Different, but the same basic concept.

I thought about it for a bit — I should try the base ingredient in these types of teas, and see how they are.  I started reading about mate tea and realized it was a whole world of it’s own.  It was then that I discovered “Yerba Mate” (MAH-tay).  It’s a tea, but it’s a class upon it’s own and a culture wrapped around it.  It’s fairly prominent in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, etc etc), and I’ve always been interested in their cultures.

Yerba mate is chopped from a plant named… yerba mate.  From there it’s processed into it’s final form which is smoked/unsmoked, stems and leaves/only leaves, and various other alterations.  It’s a huge thing in South America, more prominent than the coffee industry in North America.

On to my exploration of it.  Before I go too far, I just want it to be known that during my time drinking yerba mate I have felt far more concentration and clarity.  It does help me with energy but in controlled ways, not like caffeine.  I’m integrating it into my daily regimen.  It’s culturally drunken from a gourd carved out and cleaned/cured/dried.  They’re pretty small actually, about palm sized.  I bought one online, cured it with yerba mate  moistened for 24-48 hours.  To drink from the gourd, what’s known as a “bombilla” (bomb-isha or bomb-bee-a) is used which is basically a wooden or metal straw with a filter at the tip.  After that, I filled the gourd halfway with yerba mate and shook it upside down to get the dust towards the top.  After, I gradually tilted it sidways and removed my hand, tilting back a bit more until the yerba mate was piled against the wall just stopping at the top lip of the gourd.  the gourd is called a mate, as well.  The bombilla is inserted into the gourd from the opposite side of the pile, the tip penetrating the pile and resting deep against the wall of the mate gourd, inside the pile of yerba mate.  Then, a little water is poured over the pile with the mate gourd a little tilted to allow the pile to be more horizontal… letting the water concentrate on the pile itself.  This is to dehydrate the yerba mate a bit, and to stiffen up the pile and allow it to be more steady.  Allow the pile to soak for 2 minutes, then slowly fill the cavity with water 150-165 degrees fahrenheit.  Let it soak for 30 seconds to a minute.  There you have it!  The picture below is completely filled up, actually after 4-5 fills.  You’ll notice the pile is more spread since it’s hydrated and much larger… and buoyant!

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This was my first mate gourd & bombilla, purchased through GoYerbaMate. (www.goyerbamate.com)  They also offer a free sample of one brand of yerba mate with every purchase, which I used to try 2 other types.
After the mixture has been drinked, it can be refilled with hot water many times.  The taste is the key indicator of when the yerba mate has been fully milked of it’s nutrition and taste, but usually beween 5-10 fills.

So far, I’ve tried 4 different brands of yerba mate, purchased through Amazon along with GoYerbaMate.  So far, my favorite is Rosemonte Especial which is a stronger smokier flavor.  Oddly, I found it to be smoother than the other three I’ve tried so far.  The three I’ve tried so far are Guayaki traditional organic, Nobleza Gaucha blue, & Taragui traditional.  I purchased a couple of others to try as time passes.  (Amanda, Rosamonte traditional, & Union BCP)

I’ve realized quick the gourds can be a bit of a pain, since they are plantl ife and if not cleaned/dried properly they can mold.  (which can be taken care of but that’s not the point)  I went to Etsy (www.etsy.com) and purchased a ceramic gourd with a thick lab glass bombilla which handles quite a bit better in the work environment.  The glass also doesn’t absorb heat from the water which is very nice.  At the base of the glass bombilla is a spiral of silver cord to act as a sieve as the water slips between the cords through pores in the glass.  I’m impressed actually, very impressed.
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I have a 24 oz thermos full of hot water from the break room coffee machine every morning, and use that through the day to fill the mate gourd.  Thankfully most of my time is at my desk performing UNIX/Linux duties.

As with all things in this world, it can be used in ways not culturally accepted but still okay.  Yerba mate can be used as a normal tea as well, but with different potency and not the same absorption of nutrients.  Thus it’s inclusion into Java Mate and other fusion mixes.  Some people even treat it as a sun tea, basking it in the sun while immersed in water for hours.

Wilkinson Sword Razor Blades

Today I tried a Wilkinson Sword brand razor blade, one of the many different styles that came in a sample pack.  I was having high hopes since I’ve heard good things, but for my use it wasn’t that great.  It was sharp, but it wasn’t smooth and was rough across my scalp.  Even on my Feather razor, the Wilkinson Sword cut through the skin twice.  I was not impressed for my particular use.  It was good for face shaving, though.  I still prefer the Feather brand razor blades, however.  The search goes on for something as good or better.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t the Wilkinson Sword Classic, simply the non-Classic.

Feather AS-D2 counter holder

As I was shopping around for my razor, I was not satisfied with this significant price increase for the brand of feather razor that had a counter holder with it. (AS-D2S).  So naturally I purchased the model without the counter holder, saving approximately $50-$75.   To me was the task to get a holder of my own.   I’m not the kind of person who likes cheap looking things, and that’s one of the reasons I did not go with the feather brand one.

Shopping around for holders in general was a little bit of a disappointment pricewise, since most are in range from $30-$60.   Soon actually it meant  I needed to get one of my own without the title ‘counter holder’

Measuring the dimensions of the handle shows that it’s almost exactly the same as a 44 Remington Magnum shell.   There are gages available that are used to validate 44 Remington Magnum she’ll dimensions.   Almost all of them are made of metal and I are of a decent weight.   So, I went and looked around in all of them are a very decent price, ranging from $22-$30 a piece.   Quite a few look like they are very industrial looking, with a Knurled surface surrounding almost the entire circumference.   Not quite good-looking when used as a razor holder.

The two that I chose between that both look very nice are named ‘shooters box’and ‘Dillion’s precision’.   I chose shooters box primarily because it was two dollars less I was purchasing, and it was on Amazon which means that I get it delivered that weekend.

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With a polished (not chromed)  Service, this made the razor look great when mounted inside.

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This also opened up a lot of horizontal space around the razor so that other items could be place without cluttering the area.   It may look like it is just holding it from tilting left and right, however there is an inset surface on the inside that suspends the razor from touching the surface below.   There is also no  lateral movement of the razor with in the gage, due to its near exact sizing.

The price when I purchased it was $22.95. Shipping was free due to prime membership.   http://amzn.com/B018Y6T0J8

To keep this fair, and to show which other one I was choose from, this is the Dillon precision 44 magnum case gage on eBay – http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dillon-Precision-15165-Handgun-Case-Gage-44-44-Mag-Stainless-Steel-44-Magnum-/291293299987?hash=item43d26f0513:g:OpoAAOSwcF9UYmPj

Here is an image they have on the page, which will show a little bit of a difference in Polish and such.

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