PermaLink More stuff to chew on08/16/2006 04:36 PM

I pick up a few more really interesting and useful things, and learn to make something I like and don't like paying for.
A couple of years ago, while I was down at Lotusphere, I bought a sort of odd item... odd only if you don't know me.  It was a Krups meat slicer, like the sort of thing you see in a supermarket deli.  It has sat in its box since the day I brought it home in 2004, waiting for... something.  Last night, it found its purpose, after I went over to WalRusMart and got not only some meat for it to subdivide, but also one of those American Harvest food dehydrators.  Yup, I finally got to the point where I meant to make beef jerky.  And so I did.  Sliced up two or three pounds of London broil into quarter-inch-thick raw strips, sprinkled spices and Liquid Smoke on the stuff, then laid it out in the dehydrator and went upstairs.  

This morning, the house smelled like smoked meat, and when I opened up the dehydrator, there was a stack of what was truly the best beef jerky I have ever had in my life.  Far better than anything I've purchased.  Not oily, not overspiced, no nitrites, no MSG, no stabilizers, just meat and a little spice and very little moisture.

I enjoyed far too much of the stuff at work today, with the result that my flatulence will be of great interest to the cats later.  "Hmmm.... you've been eating meat!"

Yes, guys... yes, I have.

While I was starting the beef jerky, I went upstairs and lit up a new all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier/media-reader I'd gotten the other day at CompUSA, an HP OfficeJet 6310.  For the price, which was $249, it's an amazing piece of work and produces truly amazing images on HP paper.  I can't wait to get home tonight and throw more pictures at it to print, and to see how it does as a scanner.  Technology has gotten good, stayed usable, and is overall much easier to set up and use than the originals.  I didn't have to read much in the quick-start guide for the 6310, and that was just so I knew where all the little pieces of tape might be hidden that you have to remove before you can print.  Aside of a couple of minor hiccups in the Mac OS X installer, everything went well.  The device has a fascinating way by which you can pick and choose images and output layouts without a computer attached...  you stick your digital camera's removable media in one of the supplied slots, tell the thing to print a contact sheet, and then you look at the contact sheet.  Next to each thumbnail is a blank oval.  If you want full-size prints of that image, you fill in the oval with a pen (just like the college entrance exams).  When you've picked all you want, you then scan that sheet into the scanner on the 6310, and it prints those images out!

I thought that was cool as shit.  I had been a little reluctant to pay the extra $100 for the 7310, which has an LCD preview screen instead of the 6310's two-line green text LCD, but with a feature like this, I realize I can live without it.  One less thing for the cats to break.  The 6310 also has an internal Ethernet port, so as soon as I get used to using the printer, it's going down on the shelf downstairs right next to the LaserJet 2010 I bought a while back.

I am still enormously pleased with the Nikon D50.  I'll get around to posting some images, though of course, what you see will be limited to whatever your monitor can show you.  Sorry about that.

I really, really wish I could get my little tractor back.  They're still working on it, I guess.  Time to call them again.

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