Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seven Grain Bread

Melanie has been asking me for my bread recipe, here it is:

1-1/2 cups water
4-1/4 cups bread flour
2/3 cup 7 grain cereal (Melanie and I use Red Mill, thanks Melanie!)
2/3 cup molasses (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
2 Tbsp dry milk
1-1/2 tsp Butter
2 tsp Active dry yeast OR 3tsp Rapid Rise yeast

Make the bread with the ingredients. Seriously, just do it. If you have a bread machine, I would suggest that you follow the directions for “Dough” and then do the final knead/rising and baking yourself.

If you want a more “rustic bread” substitute 1 cup of the bread flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 Tbsp wheat gluton.

If you want a great chewy bread, also add 2/3 cup of 7 grain rice pilaf, its great.

If you want a nice heavy bread, after the second rising, firmly press the dough into your dough pan, yes that flattens it. Then bake it. It will still rise quite a bit and it will be a nice heavy bread.

If you want a more “store bought” bread, after the first rise, let the bread rise in the pans, this will yield 2 loaves.

I almost always make it single loaf with the rice pilaf, you end up with a nice chewy, nutty, heavy bread. It makes GREAT toast!

Google Voice

I have had a Google Voice account for ever, literally, my account was transferred over from when it was Grand Central. I never set it up because while it seemed like a cool idea, the tools weren’t quite up to snuff. So recently I looked at it again, and now their is a Blackberry application, so I figured that I would give it a try. (sorry, no iPhone app, the Draconian Herr Jobs has decided against it, too bad, so sad.)

Google voice is, in short, the coolest thing to happen to telephony since cheap cell phones. Its pretty basic, but super cool. Go to Google Voice and sign up for an account, its in beta, but you will prolly get an account within 3-5 days, if not, let me know and I will get you an invitation.

GV will give you a new phone number that you can use (hopefully) for the rest of your life, so choose wisely! :D When anyone calls this new number, GV will route the call per your settings. The default (which I use) is to route to my mobile and my home number, simultaneously. That means that when you call my GV number, both my home and cell ring at the same time, the call gets routed to the one that I answer. If I don’t answer, the caller can leave voicemail. GV then transcribes that voicemail and emails it to me. Stop. Read that last sentence again. IF I want, I can listen to the voicemail, but why bother?

As for SMS (aka “texting”), if someone texts my GV number, the text is forwarded to my cell phone, and if I reply, the sender sees my GV number as the sender; GV shields my actual number from the recipient. The thing is that I get pretty crappy cell coverage at home, so when I get a text, I just get on my computer and reply, and again, the recipient cant tell if it came from my computer or the cell.

When I make a call from my cell phone, it calls GV and GV routes the call for me and the person I am calling sees my GV number in the caller ID. Think about that for a minute, that means that I can add the GV number to my “Fave 5” or “Friends and Family” list, then get the minimum phone plan. Now every call that I make is routed through GV so there are no per minute charges. If you call within North America, there are no charges from GV, but if you call outside of North America there are long distance charges which appear to be inline with other carriers.

When I am at home, I go to GV and hit “Call” I then type in the name of a Google contact and hit “Ok” (of course it uses Googles autocomplete/”Live Search”). GV then calls my home number, when I answer, GV calls the contact and connects us. No more getting a new home phone and having to type in the important phone numbers and updating it if they change, I just keep my GMail contacts up to date (GV uses the same ones), and of course I use GMail/Contacts on my cell phone as well, so now I have ONE master set of contacts that are shared across all services and devices.

GV also has all sorts of cool routing options “If my Mom calls, play this message”, “If a friend calls, play that message”, “if the caller is unknown to me, don’t bother putting the call through, just give them the curt message” etc. Pretty cool,

AND, all of this can be accessed/managed from your phone, OR your computer. Andy and I have been chatting lately over SMS and its pretty nice to be able to read/respond on my computer. Its really an interesting phenomenon, GV is blurring the lines of communications, in a good way. I almost told Andy that we need to settle on a communication medium because I wanted to be consistent; but then I realized, that would make everything more difficult, not less. Send me SMS, MMS, Email, Voicemail, BB Chat, various IM, it doesn't matter. They all go to my cell phone AND my computer where I can file/record/reply as required.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Storm2 vs ‘Droid

Its a battle royal, high tech vs high tech, at stake is my next phone contract, a weighty matter indeed. Usually there are one or two features that sway me one way or the other, but not this time. :| Andy and I have hashed and rehashed this for hours and can’t seem to reach a definitive conclusion, so here’s the data on the Storm2 vs Droid:

It’s not uncommon for my Gmail to show up on my Storm before it shows up in my Gmail inbox. Thats some tight integration. BUT, you would expect tight integration between an Android (Droid)phone and Gmail, so I feel like this is a wash.

The Storm has a nice application that works with GoogleVoice. But it’s somewhat loose integration and the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. The Droid on the other hand has basically native GoogleVoice integration, you actually replace the phone dialer with a new one that integrates natively with GoogleVoice. Clearly Droid is superior.

The Storm/Storm2 screen with surepress/truepress is a real innovation and makes the UI so much easier to navigate. It also makes typing with the onscreen keyboard faster. The Storm2 has the new version that has multitap and multitouch. SUPER COOL. The Droid has a standard touch screen, similar to the iPhone. BUT, the droid also has the slide out keyboard, so it could be argued that the Storm needs the screen to make typing better, while the Droid does not. Neither one offers a Dvorak Keyboard. :(
[UPDATE] the Droid has a software Dvorak keyboard that works very nicely. Search for “dvorak” in the  android marketplace.

So who wins here? Its hard to say. The Storm screen IS better, by far. BUT, the Droid has a slide out keyboard so it doesn’t NEED surepress.

They are both on Verizon, love ‘em or hate ‘em, this is a wash.

The Storm offers bluetooth tethering. I use this quite a bit. It allows me to tether my laptop to my phone effectively turning it into an EVDO modem. The Droid does WiFi tethering, which is to say that the phone is basically a portable WiFi hotspot. Clearly the Droid phone wins out here.

As of today, the Storm has many more applications available than the Droid. For example there is a Storm version of Slinglpayer, but not a Droid version. Sling Media are working on a Droid version though, and I feel like the application disparity will be non existent in a couple of months. So I feel like this category is a wash too.

So, who wins? Which is the better gadget? I just don’t know. Currently I am leaning towards the Droid with its tight GoogleVoice integration giving it the slight advantage over the Storm2.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Venture Brothers tonite at midnight!

Don’t forget to set your DVR to record the Venture Brothers season 4 premier tonight at midnight!

Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel” episode 46, don’t miss it”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

George chatting with the big man.

Ahhh, this explains SO much.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

TeamPaulC Blackberry Messenger Group

SO, if you have a Blackberry, AND you are running Blackberry Messenger 5 (or newer) than you should be able to go into messenger and scan the code on  the left and automatically be added to the TeamPaulC group!

Give it a try and let us know (in the comments) how it works.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Le Ho Fooks

I was driving Samantha to work yesterday and “Werewolves of London” comes on the radio. Good tune, no doubt about it. In a fit of honesty Samantha says “You know, up until about a week ago I thought that this song was ‘Werewolves of Thunder’. “

Uhh, what?

Ok, if I try REALLY hard, I can hear “Werewolves of Thunder”, but what about the telling lyrics?

“He's the hairy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair


“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's
Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein”

Samantha, you have BEEN to Lee Ho Fook’s, we ate beef chow mein there and DISCUSSED the song.

Pretty funny. :D

The Social Media Guru

I can’t possibly add to this, just watch.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Yet Another Movie I Don’t Need To See. “The Social Network” aka “The FaceBook movie”. Apparently Justin Timerlake is in it, I am not really sure how major his role is. The fact that he is in the movie actually makes it BETTER, not worse. I have seen Justin in a few shows/movies recently and it turns out that he is pretty dam funny, but who the hell wants to see a Facebook movie? I mean really…

This may in fact be “YAMTIRTS” (“Yet Another Movie That I Refuse To See”"). Seriously, how the hell can this POSSIBLY be a good movie? A good documentary? Maybe, but no way in hell with this be a good movie.