OMG! A deep fried hamburger!

This just in, from the “you must be kidding “files –

A deep fried curry burger on an artisan roll with fresh lettuce, sautéed onions, and a squirt of 53VG barbecue sauce.

a tasty crunchy burger

Yes, it turns out you can indeed deep fry a hamburger. There is no need for flour or breading.

You thaw you custom seasoned 8oz hamburger and when the fry oil is 375-385F, you carefully lower it into the oil. Keep the temp above 350F for 5-7 minutes. You get a burger which is crunchy on the outside and medium done on the inside.

I recommend you serve it immediately or the burger will start to lose its crunch.

My camera is still my phone

As I neared the end of my morning walk with the dog, I was trailing behind as we hit the dirt road out to the wheat field. I looked ahead and was treated with one of this “gotta attire this moment” photo opportunities.

I pulled out my iPhone 6, wiped the lens of any pocket lint, framed and clicked.

my Catahoula in the morning sun

my Catahoula in the morning sun

The attached photo is unedited with the exception that my blog compresses JPEG images to 75%. I didn’t crop or adjust any color, light, tone, or sharpness.

It’s not 100% perfect but if I wanted, it would only take a small amount of adjustment to make the print and frame worthy. Amazingly any of that image manipulation is also completely within the capabilities of the phone … Or should I say, micro-Mac.

Custom burgers will make you the Master at your next cookout

Grilling season is fast approaching the northern hemisphere and we want our guests to leave both full and raving about our fare.

Sometimes the menu calls for a great steak but what can you do to seriously impress when the menu is hamburgers? Grind your own!

A good quality ground beef can easily be north of $5/lb you can do better for less than half that price. How?

Raid the “butcher’s specials” – those cuts of meat which are about to expire. It can be most anything as long as you can get the right ratio of lean meat to fat. The best deals come from the “sub-prime” cuts. In my most recent example I picked up Boston Cut Steaks and Pork Short Ribs. (These were marked down to $1.90/lb)

Yes, you can mix meats and “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. 🙂

First, cut out any bones and toss them in a baggy and into the freezer. These can be used later for soup stock … or as an extra special treat for your four legged family member(s).

Next, cut into chunks you can cram into the opening on your KitchenAid mixer’s grinder attachment. We know you have that attachment and have never used it. Now is your chance.

Grind it all up. If you have more than one cut of meat, alternate so it starts to get mixed together.

Now it’s time for you to get creating. Pick a theme for your burgers and add the seasonings – mesquite spices, curry, smoke, teriyaki, steak seasonings, whatever hits the right buttons for you. I went with cumin and curry paste for this batch.

Gently mix in the seasoning using your fingers. Don’t over work it.

Toss it in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to chill it.

Feed the mix back through to grinder to completely mix things together. This will also give you an amazing burger when it comes time for the grill.

Make you patties and freeze. They will be ready for when you want to grill. You’ll have burgers with amazing flavor and they will relish being topped the lettuce, onion, tomato. (Relish … hah, get it?) Your guests will love how well the meat stands up to the fresh vegetables with no need for mustard or catsup.

SkyNet’s new plan

SkyNet Cyberdyne Systems

the IoT (Internet of things) will end the human race and usher in the rein of machines

the mythical SkyNet will mount a quiet subtle extinction of humans – not with a conventional war, but with a cyber attack on our technology dependence

the sentient software will infect our smartphones, self-driving cars, our HVAC systems, security monitors, coffee makers, pacemakers, pill dispensers, and more

in a synchronized single-day attack, SkyNet will put humans to sleep, raise CO levels, crash cars, cause mass overdoses, stop hearts and one by one, eliminate its oppressor

… have a magical day


Ebooks! I forgot ebooks!

SkyNet will manipulate ebooks to erase all anti-technology rhetoric and to plant the seeds of techno-benevolence (not to mention preying on human insecurities)

Highly accurate delta printer rods

Producing accurate pieces with a 3D printer requires precision of its construction as well as tuning of its operation. For a delta printer, most of the construction pieces are dimensionally critical. Let’s take the suspension rods as one example …

The vertical motion from the three towers is translates into 3-dimensional motion by the length and angle of the arms. These arms are installed in pairs so each pair creates a parallelogram of motion. There are six arms.

carbon fiber tubes with rod end ball fittings

carbon fiber tubes with rod end ball fittings

While the finished length of the arms is a configuration parameter in the software it is critical that all six arms are EXACTLY the same length (as measured between the mounting holes). An error as small as 0.004 inches will create misalignment in the print layers.

I set out to find a design Which would’ve me fabricate each rod “close enough” and the adjust them to a common length within 0.001 inches.

Most delta printer rods use threaded rod ball ends. The problem is that to align the ends, there may be as much as a half revolution of one end to slim with the other while attempting to be “close” to the same length. Even on M4 threads, that is 0.41mm or 0.015 inches, or 15x too much error.

I tracked down complimenting left and right hand threaded rod ends. The carbon fiber tube is 4mm inside diameter so I needed to fill the tube ends in order to have the rod ends “thread” into the tubes. My solution was to grease the threads and then apply epoxy inside the tube. Once hardened, I was able to carefully twist the rod end and the epoxy became the complimenting threads. It worked … well … except for the first one where I forgot it was left hand threads and I tightened rather than loosened the rod end; cracking the carbon fiber tube. (oops)

Now I have six rods and by attaching the ends to a test jig, I rotate the tube body gradually until the rod holes are the current distance.

This setup can easily be adjusted to 0.001 inches using a digital caliper. Once a rod has been “dialed in”, a drop of blue-locktite fixes the ends in place.

Update 1: the first rough attempt at adjusting these achieved a 0.002 difference across all 6 arms. Getting to 0.001 is not difficult to achieve and is more an attribute of the measuring jig than the adjustment to the arms.  

I user immersion bath cooking and I won’t apologize!

I am sitting here enjoying the latter part of a pleasant glass of red wine, having just finished a near perfect medium rare Sirloin steak with a simple salad and half potato dressed with a horseradish brown sauce.

simple steak that is simply delicious

simple steak that is simply delicious

I could have cooked the steak any number of ways. I used sous vide finished with a pan seer at 480F. Is this cheating? Perhaps. But ask yourself if you would want any of the following:

  • a streak that is cooked exactly to your preference without sweating about watching and timing the grill, the oven, or the pan
  • steak or fish for seven that is ready on time and in perfect sync with the dishes coming out of the oven
  • enjoying the pre-dinner conversation with your guests rather than sequestered in the kitchen making sure the main event is ready not
  • worrying when guests will arrive or when the family will be home for dinner

Using immersion bath cooking makes all of these possible because you don’t over cook the food. You CAN’T over cook the food.

I like the freedom and the accuracy of using sous vide. The meal is ready to plate when the people are ready to sit down – not the other way around.

I’m enjoying fish and steak more frequently now than in years. I doubt I’ll order a restaurant steak again. It would be too much of a disappointment.