Friday, April 23, 2010

Mexican Feast

Even though I'm eating almost entirely Korean food these days, I've made a new habit to cook something "Western" on every Thursday night. This week, I had a craving for Mexican food, and began preparing the ingredients and searching some recipes online. Here is the resulting meal, enough for six people:

The dishes were made entirely from food I can get locally, with one exception - a package of taco seasoning mix which The Stumbling Mom sent me, which it probably way past its expiration date. I don't think I've ever made Spanish Rice nor Refried Beans before, it was both fun and tasty, if I do say so myself.

I wasn't entirely happy with frying the tortillas to make taco shells and a few nacho chips. While they tasted good, they weren't quite as crisp as you would get in a restaurant. I think this means my temperature wasn't quite right. I read in one recipe to fry them at 175 deg C, which I checked with my thermometer. However, I'll try a diffrent temperature if I do this again. Not to mention all the newspaper and paper towels I needed to drain off all the grease - not something I'll do often.

My only real complaint is there was too much cheese. In the past, I would always say "you can never have too much cheese", but for some reason these days I prefer to eat smaller quantities of cheese and other dairy products.

By the way, mashing the beans was really fun! Test for my Spanish speaking friends - what does "refried beans" mean? I discovered, while searching for recipes, it does NOT mean twice-fried beans.

Is Spanish Rice from Spain? I prepared the rice in the skillet as instructed in the recipe. Interesting fact - hot rice in the skillet will start to jump, similar to popcorn! Then I actually cooked the rice in my rice cooker. It worked just great:

And finally, out of curiosity, I tried a little Korean-Mexican fusion. I ate some kimchi along with the enchillada. It was DELICIOUS! Also with the refried beans! I might be onto something. These days we have the Taco Truck folks in California with their bulgogi tacos. How about a kimchi chicken enchilada anyone?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I've been walking at lunch time these days, along a "street park" in front of my ofice. Last week, I noticed they dug a huge rectangular hole about 4 or 5 feet deep, lined with concrete. I thought, this must be a fountain, although it seemed pretty deep for a fountain. Over the next couple of days, they filled in the "pool" with a steel lattice work, completely baffling me. I was about to give up on my guess that this was a fountain, when suddenly they posted this large sign. It will indeed be a fountain, completely with a light show!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The Stumbler Meets As One

Through a bizarre set of circumstances last week, I was invited to a phone interview on a local radio program K-Popular hosted by the K-Pop duo As One. Shortly after that phone call, I was invited to come to the studio today for a live segment at lunch time. I was asked to present three of my favorite K-Pop songs, and explain the story behind each selection. It was really tough to choose only three songs. But I finally selected these, becuase they had the most interesting stories.

  • 채연 / Chaeyeon: "위험한 연출" / "Dangerous Presentation"
    (1) It's My Time (Aug 2003)

  • 나얼 / Naul (Browneyes): "귀로" / "The Road Back"
    Back To The Soul Flight - Remake Album (Jan 2005)

  • 마야 / Maya: "친달래꽃" / "Azaleas"
    (1) Born To Do It (Feb 2003)

  • Here is a CD I had from 2004 that they signed for me:

    After the interview, I met a couple of friends who work there at the station, then headed back to the office. But, I stopped along the way at a small place which served pork soup (되지국밥). I didn't take any photos, but found these pictures on someone's blog which is exactly what I had for lunch! (I just had to sneak something about food into the post).

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Old Cow, New Cow


    An unusual set of circumstances found me needing to ressurect a VERY OLD computer that has been in storage for 5 years. And it was already too old 5 years ago! The brief and simplified story: there is a very special (expensive) circuit card in this computer that I need to use, and it won't work in a modern computer. Let me introduce the Gateway 2000 DX2

    (well, the CASE of the computer - it's still dismantled). I wouldn't have remembered it was from 1992, except for the date code stamped on the case:

    From the press release announcing it:

    Personal computer mass marketeer Gateway 2000 Inc of North Sioux City, South Dakota, has introduced a new local bus system based on Intel Corp's 66MHz 80486 DX2: the 4DX2-66V is the first AT-compatible personal computer to use AT&T Co's custom-designed Ultra local bus video board: the system, which is scheduled to ship in mid-September, has the company's first implementation of the VESA VL-Bus local bus specification which uses a 32-bit data path running at processor speed; the computer comes with two VESA-compatible slots at $3,000.
    Well, after vacuuming 5 years of dust from the inside and outside of the computer, I tried to make it boot up. No dice. Finally, after a MUCH more thorough cleaning (which involved removing many circuit cards and even chips), I was able to get it to finally boot up. Alas, the two ancient hard disks in the computer were a bit flaky, and I had lost some data (cause unknown). So, gave up on the hard disks, and replaced two hard disks witha single 2GB compact flash card.

    Yes, that purple thing is a floppy disk, for you young readers. If you zoom in, you will also see a 5-1/4 in floppy drive!

    It has a whopping 16MB of RAM. The date on the BIOS is later than 1992, because at some point in time I upgraded the BIOS for some reason.

    Well, end of geek post (I am an engineer, after all). Now I have a vintage DOS computer with almost no moving parts (only the power supply fan). Yeeeeee-ha!

    EDIT: Okay, the floppy disks and CD have moving parts, but now that the computer is working, I could unplug them if I really wanted to.