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Sledgstone

I followed the directions in this video and what an improvement! :D

This was way easier than manually installing reshade and sweetfx and then fine tuning the effects I'd want. Instead it took me about 5 mins and everything looks amazing.

Here are some before and after shots. Click on an image to open it in the lightbox image viewer, then hit the left and right arrows on the sides of the image to easily compare.

Guild Wars 2 Max settings:

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Max settings with Reshade/SweetFX:

gw2_max_02.png

 

Guild Wars 2 Max settings:

gw2_max_03.png

Max settings with Reshade/SweetFX:

gw2_max_04.png

Sledgstone

I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my graphics card. I bought a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP! Edition. So far it's running pretty good. It is a huge upgrade over the 1 GB non gtx geforce stock card that came with my Dell XPS desktop.

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It only needs a single 6 pin power connector and the small profile fits perfectly without forcing me to buy new sata cables to fit around it. This card does run a little hot since the fans are dialed way back from the manufacturer. At idle the temp is 39 degrees Celsius and the fans do not run which works great for me because I work on this pc all day and there is no noise. When under load it'll spike up to 76 degrees Celsius but the fans have never gone over 50% power. Which means I have a little extra heat in my pc but it's still quiet. If I wanted to knock the temps down more I could use an over clocking tool and turn the fans up to full under load, but then I'd have a bunch of noise. Last thing I want is to sit next to a box fan while playing a game. Overall I'm pleased. I'll test it more over the next couple weeks. 

Sledgstone
Me n lady have been working on the site and forum alot over the past week or so and now we have a new blog system. This seems kind of option heavy for the simple blog system I thought it was. eh, I'll mess with the settings some more and see what happens.
Sledgstone
Once every two years I buy a couple packages of socks. And every time I get a new package of socks I wonder to myself, why the hell do they come in resealable bags? There is even a graphic on the package saying "Resealable bag!" Does this mean my socks have a shelf life? Should I be concerned that my sock might expire if I don't reseal that bag after taking a pair out? And why are they so excited about the sock package being resealable that they had to add and exclamation point to the graphic phrase.. like its a long awaited feature sock purchasers have been waiting for for years.
Or should I be more concerned that someone could have worn these socks, washed them, ironed them and repackaged them in the "resealable bag" and thus returned them to walmart whose employees just throw shit back on the shelves. And lady looks at me odd when I sniff my socks out of the brand new package. I can only hope my socks aren't tainted, but for $3 a package I have no guarantees.
Sledgstone
We just got our 800 disk capacity dvd case in the mail today:
http://www.cdrdvdrmedia.com/800pcs-aluminum-cd-box-white-128.html
Now we can finally throw out half of these huge shitty dvd wallet/cases that have been falling apart since we first got them. Now I wonder how long it will take us to organize and catalog our entire collection of DVD-Rs full of anime fansubs.
Sledgstone
Instructions to make:
2 Pizzas
4-8 Servings of wings (depending on how many wings you eat)
Ingredients:
- Pizza crust mix or premade dough - 2x
- Pizza sauce - 1 jar
- Mushrooms - 2 small cans
- Pepperoni - 1 package
- Sweet italian sausage - 1 small package
- Mozzarella cheese - 1 package
- Chicken Wings - 4 or 4 1/2 pounds
- McCormick buffalo wings mix - 2 packages
- Large ziplock freezer bag - 1x or 2x if two different flavors of buffalo wings
Instructions:
1) Break apart sausage and form into small/medium size chunks and brown it.

2) Prepare pizza ingredients and toppings. Cut mozzarella cheese into small chunks or shred it.

3) Once sausage is browned, drain and let sit on paper towels to absorb more grease.

4) Prepare pizza crust mix as per instructions or prepare premade pizza dough. (pizza crust mix is much better. This pic is the premade flattened dough.)

5) Drink a shot of hypnotic/coconut rum to enhance cooking experience. (This step can be skipped.)

6) Rinse off chicken and cut each wing into three pieces at the joints, throw away the wing tips and keep to two meaty pieces for the actual wings.

7) Put half of your wings (2 pounds out of that 4 pound package) into a freezer bag and dump 1 package of buffalo wing mix into bag. Shake the chicken in the bag to coat all the chicken somewhat evenly.
8) Use glass baking pan, line with aluminum foil, place chicken on foil and bake in pre-heated oven according to buffalo wing mix instructions.

9) While chicken is baking, prepare pizza with sauce, and toppings as desired.

10) Bake prepared pizza on the middle rack in your oven. 350 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes or longer depending on the amount of toppings you used. Cheese should start browning on edges. Remove pizza with oven mitts for pan style or use a large pizza spatula if baked directly on rack.

11) When the wings are done, cut into a couple of them and make sure the meat is nice and white with no hints of pink to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Remove the wings from the baking pan so they can cool on a plate. Prepare the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake the next batch of chicken wings while getting the next pizza ready.
12) Finished wings

13) Finished pan pizza

14) Eat your pizza and wings!

The pizza crust mix makes a much better tasting pizza dough. And I highly recommend the McCormick Original Buffalo Wings mix or the McCormick Garlic and Herb Buffalo Wings mix. Both are amazing.
Sledgstone
Well, the latest vb update has screwed up our blog links in our profiles and I keep getting a db error message in the blog email system. *stabs vb* release a gold version already!
Sledgstone
Here are some possible scenarios that could take place as the year progresses.
Bush will insist upon Iran's nuclear plans, furnish proof of their 'evil plans', insist on Iran's involvement with terrorism and start a war with Iran near the end of his presidential term.
With a war booming and the possibility of Iran literally attacking US on its own soil and with the war having the potential to go nuclear, gas prices will jump exponentially and other countries now severely burdened by oil prices, others may join with Iran and a potential WW3 could start.
A war with Iran could also be a potential cover up just to have a nuclear factory 'explode' or a nuke could be dropped on Iran. Because Iran has large reserves of oil under their soil the oil could be potentially contaminated with radiation and all the massive reserves under their land could now be unusable thus creating a world wide oil based recession.
All of this is also a potential way for Bush to pass some new bill to keep him in office past his two terms because of the world crisis he has caused. Thus our president becomes a war mongering dictator.
If this does not happen and McCain becomes president, he will try to pick up this exact same course minus the dictator part.
Of course, Bush could always start up a war with Iran or set things in motion for it to take place, leave office and screw the next president into a position of having to declare war.
Sledgstone
Instructions to make:
Onion Steak Burgers
Ingredients:
- Package of ground beef round tip roast (you could substitute 90/10 or 80/20 hamburger if you want) - 2 to 3 lbs
- 1 packet of onion soup mix
- A splash of worcester sauce
- Cheese (I prefer extra sharp cheddar or maybe colby jack)
Instructions:
1) Gather your ingredients.

2) Hand mash the meat with the onion soup mix until thoroughly mixed.

3) Splash some worchester sauce onto the mix and mash that in as well. You don't need worchester sauce, but the meat I'm using is less fatty than the usual 80/20, so I want some more liquid in the mix to offset the dry onion soup mix. If you are using 90/10 or 80/20 go ahead and skip this if you want, but I'd leave it in for flavor. Just make your burgers slightly thicker in the end so the meat doesn't fall apart when you go to cook it.

4) Use a small plat to make to make your hamburger patties with. Using a small plate instead of just your hands makes a more even patty and you can round the edges easier.


5) Plate of finished patties. These are pretty thick burgers. When hamburgers cook, they loose alot of fat and thus the finished hamburgers are much thinner than the initial patties. But I'm using steak meat so these bad boys won't loose much size. hmmm..

6) If cooking on the grill, get your grill nice and hot first, then put your burgers on for a good initial searing to get those grill marks. Turn the grill down to low and close it up. Let them cook about 6-7 minutes on each side. If you are pan frying, Cook 1 or 2 of these at a time, because you'll probably only fit 1 or 2 of these on a pan. Cook about the same amount of time. You could also use a george forman grill, but burgers taste best when they are cooked on the grill.

7) After 6 minutes my burgers look like this, and that means its time to flip:

8) Look at those grill marks. mmmm.

9) Cut some cheese for you burgers, I'm using colby jack today.

10) Give your troublesome cat some cheese so he'll leave you alone.

11) You'll know when your burgers are done and safe to eat when you stick a thermometer in one and its at 170-180 degrees.

12) Put the cheese on your burgers, close that lid and turn the grill up to full heat for about 1 minute to melt your cheese.


13) Finished burgers! Enjoy!

Sledgstone
My cordless drill's batteries have shit the bucket and instead of spending $30 on a single replacement battery, I put that money towards a new lithium powered cordless drill. It came with two batteries, a charger and a decent cloth case that has sturdy sides and decent bottom.
Heres some pics of my old drill and my new one. In every pic, the old drill and it's accessories are on the left.
Old case and new case:

Inside the cases: (the old drill came with a dustbuster that worked like pure crap.)

The old charger never indicated when the charge was full, the new one has status indicators and charges the battery in 40 minutes.

The new battery is at least 1/2 the weight and size of the old one and maintains a charge 3 to 4x longer.

The size and weight of the new one is 30% less than the old one.


I picked up the drill at homedepot:
Ryobi 12V Lithium Ion Drill Kit
Model HJP001K
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100596701
I haven't used it yet, but I'll update when I do.
Sledgstone
Well, I drilled out a spot on the fender bar so I could attach a chain mount to it for a connection point for my tow strap hook.
Heres the hook attached to the chain mount:

Another angle:

Attached to a pine tree for an ancor support.

Pulling resulted in slight movement of the crumpled bar, before the metal started giving away on the chain mount.

So, I used a rubber mallet and started whacking it and hitting parts back into place.

Another angle:

The hood does close a little more level now. I'm going to use a small pry bar and rubber mallet to try and straighten it out more. As long as I can get it straightened enough for my headlight to mount back in correctly, it'll be good enough.
Sledgstone
but it is something I can never do.

I watched Terminator 2 today. Classic. I've seen it so many times, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing it. I caught most of T1 yesterday also, so I figure I might as well finish off the trilogy and watch T3: Rise of the machines later tonight. I love watching shit blow up.
Sledgstone
I've been watching Jay Leno this entire week and aside from Headlines, hes really not that impressive on his own compared to the previous month or two just before the writer's strike. His monologue has taken a hit and the first part of the show before he brings a guest in is boring now. As for Conan, he already sucked to begin with so now hes even worse. x_x I really can't imagine him taking over for Leno in the near future.
Sledgstone
I updated 4 different mods on the forum in preparation for the newest version of vB. I'm pretty forumed out at the moment. Maybe I'll make a new poll tomorrow or next week. blah.
Sledgstone
Instructions to make:
A bunch of Tacos for serving 4-6 people.
Ingredients:
- Ortega taco mix - 2x
- Ground beef - 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
- Tomatoes - 3x
- Lettuce - 1 package
- Sour Cream 1x
- Taco cheese (preshredded) - 1 package
- Taco shells, Tortellias - 1 combo box (8 or more of each)
- Ortega Taco sauce - 1 bottle
Instructions:
1) Cook meat as per instructions on taco mix packages.
2) Prepare toppings while meat is cooking. Dice tomatoes, shred lettuce or cheese if not already packaged that way.

3) Bake or microwave taco shells and/or soft tacos as per package.

Assemble tacos. One or two tablespoons of meat per shell, add toppings to taste, use a little dash of the taco sauce for extra flavor or heat.

I prefer the soft tacos. You can also pick up large tortellias for burritos and make large soft tacos out of them instead.. so good.
Sledgstone
Instructions to make:
2-3 rolls of sushi
Ingredients:
- Sushi Rice - 2 cups
- Nori (Seaweed sheets) - 2-3 sheets
- Rice Vinegar -
- Sliced carrots - 1 package
- Avocado - 1x
- Cucumber - 1x
- Shrimp or imitation crab meat - 1 small package
Instructions:
1) Put two cups of rice in your rice cooker and fill the rice cooker to the "2" line with water, put lid on and set the rice to cook. Remember to leave the lid on the rice cooker through the duration of the cooking and and additional 15 minutes after the rice cooker switches over to 'warm' to ensure the rice fully cooks.
2) While the rice is cooking, prepare your cooking area, get your sushi mat ready, take your nori out of the package so it can air out a bit. Peel your cucumber and slice it into thin length wise pieces (preferably discarding the seed portion or the cucumber but that is not necessary). Peel your avocado and also slice into length wise pieces but keep the avocado thicker for it's texture. Also rinse off and peel your shrimp/crab meat.

3) After the rice is done, you have to add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar per 1 cup of rice. Since 2 cups of uncooked rice = 6 cups of cooked rice, add 6 tablespoons of rice vinegar to the rice in the rice cooker and fold the rice to mix evenly. Don't crush the rice while folding the vinegar in! Once mixed together, spread the rice out onto a pizza pan or something else covered in aluminum foil. I cover a pizza pan with aluminum foil because it gives you a flat surface for the rice to cool on and it makes cleanup a lot easier.

4) Let the rice cool down for a while and finish any other prep work you have to do. Also, place a piece of clear saran plastic wrap on your sushi mat (makes rolling the sushi easier and less messer, also easier clean up). Place your nori, shiny side down on your sushi mat and spread sushi rice in a thin layer on most of the mat. Leave about a half inch at the top of the nori rice free so the roll can stay together.

5) Place your ingredients length wise at the bottom of your sushi roll. Use a couple large pieces of avocado, a bunch of cucumber, carrots, shrimp/crabmeat, whatever you want to use. Its ok if things overlap too, but you don't want to use much more than what is in this pic or your roll might start falling apart while you cut it or when you pick up the individual pieces.

6) Next, roll the sushi carefully from the bottom up. Apply some light pressure while you roll and tuck the ingredients in with your fingers if it starts falling apart or not staying in place while you roll it.
7) Roll it back and forth a little bit and squeeze the roll slightly while wrapped up in the mat to get everything kind of solidified together. Not to hard tho, you do not want to crush the rice and ruin the texture.
8) The top of the roll had that little empty 1/2 flap of nori, wet your finger and apply a moisture to that flap and push it against the roll. This will make that little flap grip the roll and keep everything together.
9) Place your roll of sushi on a cutting board and use a sharp wet knife to cut your individual pieces. Sushi rice is extremely sticky, you will need to run your knife under water and gently wipe off any stickyness or rice off your knife before cutting each piece. Cut the pieces to the thickness you want, if the sushi starts falling apart on you while you cut, cut slightly larger pieces or clean your knife/wet it more. Let the knife be pretty much dripping wet even while you cut for easier cutting. The end pieces look ugly but are still edible. I usually give them to my kid or eat them myself before presentation.


10) Next roll. Repeat steps above. Notice I used more shrimp? mmmmm.

11) This is the amount of leftover rice I had. I'm pretty certain I made three rolls with 2 cups of uncooked rice, but I probably ate it while making the other two rolls I took pictures off. (I can't remember.)

12) Finished sushi with leftover ingredients. As you can see, you shouldn't waste your time cutting all of that 1 cucumber and 1 avocado like I did unless you have a guinea pig that likes leftover cucumber like me. Probably half a cucumber and half an avocado is plenty for 2-3 sushi rolls.

13) Finished sushi pics! Eat and enjoy!


Don't forget you can use a little wasabi sauce or soy sauce or mix them together a bit for dipping your sushi. I sometimes use duck sauce because soy sauce usually tastes too salty for me just like wasabi is way to friggin hot. I'd rather taste the sushi and the different textures in it than have the dipping sauce overtake my pallet.
Pickled ginger is usually served with sushi, but its mainly used to 'reset' your taste buds when you have a variety of sushi on your plate. Its best to eat a little piece of ginger inbetween different pieces of sushi or sashimi to fully enjoy the taste and texture of each different piece. If all your eating is just the one sushi roll like I have made here, I'd pass on the ginger and just enjoy the flavor of the sushi.
Sledgstone
I hate ads. But I also hate being strapped for cash and having an outstanding credit card debt because of continuous monthly charges. Of course I love having my websites, but at the time of the last server move we had hosting revenue coming in. So yeah, gotta supplement those bills somehow. At least we don't have to look at the ads while we're logged in. At least the majority of us.
*stabs economy*
Sledgstone
I bought a dump permit last weekend, and since then I have been so damn occupied with destroying old couch pieces, mattresses and other random crap to drop off at the dump I have had little free time to myself on the weekends.
Fortunately, next weekend is the last weekend for the dump dropoffs. Unfortunately, it means I will have to spend the next couple days destroying some more mattresses and other crap so it'll fit in my blazer so I can make the last couple drop offs in time. With a 3 hour dump window it only gives you enough time to load your crap, drop it off and repeat until time runs out.
Sledgstone
I made chicken wings last night and I figured I'd share my latest recipe.
Instructions to make:
Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
Ingredients:
- Package of Chicken Wings - 2 to 2.5 lbs
- A couple cups of flour
- 3 eggs
- KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce - 1 1/4 cups
- Honey - 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/8 cup
Instructions:
1) Rinse off the chicken winds and cut them into three pieces, discarding the tips. I'm using a 4.5 lb package of chicken wings because half of this package are used for my Honey BBQ wings and the other half I used a McCormick Buffalo Wings Garlic and Herb dry rub.

2) Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels.

3) Crack 3 eggs into a bowel and wisk it up to make an egg wash.

4) Once the chicken wings are mostly dry, dip them in a ziploc bag of flour to coat them, then coat both sides into the egg wash and then put them back into the flour so you have a double coating of flour.

5) Put your wings on your grill at a low temperature and cook them for about 15 minutes, flipping them once. Notice that the other half of my chicken wings look different (the ones on the left), those are the ones I patted dry and coated with the McCormick mix.

6) While the chicken wings are cooking, mix the three sauce ingredients together. You can add more honey or soy sauce to taste. With the mix I made it turned out to be a bit more of a honey/sweet&tangy sauce.

7) After the first 15/20 minutes take your flour coated wings off the grill (I did it right at the grill, one at a time) and dip them in your honey bbq sauce. Then put them back on the grill and turn the temp up to medium. Keep flipping them every 5 minutes or so and cook your wings until their internal temperature is 180 degrees. It takes about a 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. To do this easier on a grill, cook only a 2 - 2.5 lb of chicken wings at a time and place them on the top far left of the grill. Turn off the burner directly below the wings, the left one and crank the temp on the right burner to full. Because the chicken wings get cooked with indirect heat you don't need to keep flipping them constantly and they should cook faster.

8) Finished Honey BBQ Wings. They look burntish, but they taste good to me. The only problem I had was that the wings just weren't crispy. I think breaded wings cook best fried, but in the end grilled wings turned out pretty decent and the sauce tastes quite good.

9) Finished McCormick Garlic and Herb Wings. Cooking these on the grill, they turned out very crispy and tasty. Of course being a dry rub, there was no flour or sauce involved to moisten the skin. I honestly think for cooking wings on the grill a dry rub has a much better result.

Sledgstone
My Saturn was in an accident almost 2 years ago with a SUV. The SUV hit the front right of my car, busted my flip up headlight and slightly crumpled the radiator support bar as seen in these pics. The left flip up headlight was destroyed a few days later at Sam Dell, the car dealership my insurance made me take my car to for a damage estimate.
The Sam Dell idiots ripped the good headlight off instead of taking it off to look at the bumper closer, which had no real damage. But because they are idiots they damaged my car more than the accident did by doing their front end dismantling to finish their estimate. F*cking money grubbing assholes f*ck up my car so much I had to get it towed out of there so they couldn't hold it hostage in an attempt to force me to use them to repair my car.
Instead, I have been going to the scrap yard "Pick 'N Pull" and have been getting new pieces, namely: headlights, fender, hood, and wheel well.
I now have all the pieces I need and now I just have to put everything back together.