Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 9th, 2006

Blast from the past for Skype

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Retro Skype
This is a Skype-oriented USB digital phone. Cool, eh? Thanks to Alert Reader for pointing it out.

The DC-NCTEL1 from Digital Cowboy is a VoIP phone with classic yesteryear design. Though it looks dated, the phone connects via USB and is pretty advanced. Once you install the phone’s application you can assign a number to a Skype contact. So just lift the receiver and dial a number the old fashioned way. When the receiver is picked up, Skype starts automatically and closes when the receiver is placed in the cradle. The phone rings—in fact it rings the old fashioned way—but the sound comes from a speaker when you get a call on Skype. It connects to the host via USB 1.1 and is compatible with Windows only. 

Written by Leisureguy

9 July 2006 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Skype, Techie toys

Kitty comfort

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What kitties find comfortable is often puzzling. I just noticed Megs, sound asleep, with the tops of her back feet resting on the top of her head…

That’s one reason they’re so much fun to observe, of course.

Written by Leisureguy

9 July 2006 at 7:32 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Megs

Oh, YUM! Boneless beef short ribs

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With my kid plate, I look for pieces of meat (fish, fowl) that will fit the little protein compartment. Usually the small steaks (chuck steaks or eye of round) are sold two to a package. I cook them using the quick & easy method, and then eat one as a steak and the other the next day cut into little pieces in a salad, using the plate to measure the carb (say, orzo) and veggie (e.g., steamed broccoli) parts of the salad.

I got some nice pieces of boneless chuck short ribs, and last night I put them in a 200º oven for slow cooking overnight. Since I didn’t really want a stew — I’m going to eat them as a meat portion — I didn’t use (e.g.) tomatoes. But I still wanted some acid, so I went with lemon juice.

I got the skillet hot, sprinkled it with salt, and browned the beef on both sides. (This was the stainless skillet, but there was no sticking of any consequence.) I removed the beef and put into the skillet some chopped shallots, a few minced cloves of garlic, and a little olive oil. I sautéed those for a while, then deglazed the pan with red wine, scraping up the brown bits.

The beef went back into the pan, along with the juice of a lemon, a handful of small cremini mushrooms, about a tablespoon of horseradish, a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper.

On with the lid and into the oven overnight. Twelve hours later, it’s divine—a miracle!

UPDATE: Tonight (07.15.06) I’ve made it again — indeed, I’ve made it a couple of times since this first essay—and the recipe is much as before, except that I included some dried thyme in the mix, which I crushed by rolling it between my palms. — Later: Nah, better without the thyme, I think. Too much going on with the thyme added.

UPDATE 2: Another approach to boneless short ribs.

UPDATE 3: Yet another recipe.

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Written by Leisureguy

9 July 2006 at 8:12 am

Posted in Beef, Recipes & Cooking

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