College Fodder: Jajangmyun noodles

30 08 2007

You might not find this brand of ramen noodles at most grocery stores but if you know of any East Asian stores, you might very well be in luck. To begin with, my girlfriend (who’s Korean) had to correct me. I was about to call it a ramen but I guess it’s jus a type of special Korean noodles called Jajangmyun or Jajangmeun for roughly 89c per package. Not quite sure of the exact pronunciation in English but it’s something like Jajangmin or what I wrote in the previous sentence.

A quick history on Jajangmyun. It was originally a Chinese noodle dish which got popular in Korea with the rising Chinese immigration to the Korean peninsula. I guess Jajangmeun in direct translation means “black noodles” and it sure lives up to it’s reputation.As seen below, it won’t necessarily say “Jajangmeun” but they come in different packages. The one featured below (Cha Cha-roni or Ja Ja-roni) is the stuff I really like but I need 2 to fill me.

So first you dump the noodles in a pot. Then pour out the chunky dried vegetables on it. Do NOT pour out the dark stuff yet.

Fill the pot with water and set the heat to about 70% heat. Cover it up!

After around 15 mins of cooking at 70% heat, turn off the heating. Use the lid to poke into the noodles to make sure it’s soft and edible.

Drain out all the water. Try to get all of it out using the lid to keep the contents in and at the same time, letting out the water.

Pour the black stuff from the sealed package on the noodles. Stir it with chopsticks until you get most or all of the ramen covered in that black stuff.

A reminder, make sure to use the pot where you have the ramen Jajangmyun in. Stir it well again and you may begin eating!

This thing tastes a million times better than it looks. The dark stuff is soysauce and a blend of some other Chinese ingredients. It’s a big hit there in Korea and one of my all time favs.

EDIT (01/27/08): IF YOU DO NOT REMOVE ALL THE WATER, your jajangmyun will taste nasty. I’ve noticed a lot of people make that mistake so PLEASE, when you’re making jajangmyun, try to follow my instructions down to the detail. It’s  not like making standard ramen where you boil it and voila! And DO NOT say the instant jajangmyun tastes bad unless you’ve cooked it right and removed all the water after cooking. 





Car and Driver 1.5 months early?

29 08 2007

Forgot to mention this previously but I got my Car and Driver’s October issue on Monday the 27th. Weird. October??? This is August! WTF is seriously going on here lol. I’m not complaining but that’s jus plain inconsistent or perplexing.

The September’s issue of C&D shows up on the 21st and the October’s C&D is here on the 27th. I’m baffled but will admit that this month’s issue is more interesting. The other one covered the uglylicious BMW 1-series while this one covers the new Viper, the Z07, brand new Honda Accord (2-door coupe and 4-door sedan), and the 2009 Jaguar XF.

Even more confusing. Jalopnik (auto blog) had the Jag XF pics out on Monday saying they “broke the embargo” but looks like C&D also had the same thing on their minds. Nice looking ride for a price range of $58-68K. There’s far too many cars featured in this magazine. Possibly one of the best Car and Driver magazines in a long time. When you’re walking down by the grocery store aisles, try picking one out and reading it.

Thanks Car & Driver for getting this one out at the speed of light.





Worst Beer Ad – Heineken Iron Maiden

27 08 2007

This has got to be the worst beer commercial created in the 21st Century as I simply can’t vouch for the advertisements in the 20th or 19th centuries

Why is this bad? It’s creepy. Beer is supposed to be relaxing. Beer is supposed to flaunt sex. This fembot is just freaky at best unlike the more human-looking Liz Taylor of Austin Powers fame. There’s nothing energetic about this ad. The dark dull colors brings out a depressing atmosphere often portrayed in doomsday earth-in-the-future movies. Beer is about having fun.

The only thing this ad successfully does is it fixates the brand “Heineken” into our minds. The problem with that is, it also reminds us of this scary looking female robot or fembot as most of us like to call them. Simply disgusting!

PS: The music sux too!





What Transformer are you?

26 08 2007

Just a simple (or stupid) quiz to quickly decide if you’re either the useless Bumblebee, leader of the Autobots – Optimus Prime, the deadly Starscream, or the leader of the Decepticons – Megatron.

There aren’t too many questions. Possibly takes 30-60 secs at the most.

Here’s what I got:
75%
MEGATRON

Take the Transformers Quiz





VGA to Component (RGB) cable problems

26 08 2007

So I originally bought a cable with male DVI-I (dual-link) and component (RGB) ends to hook up my DVD player to my 22″ LCD flatpanel monitor. This would allow video feed to pass from my DVD player through those 3 RCA-like cables (red, green, blue) to my monitor in high-def format. Unfortunately, my monitor at the time only supported DVI-D (dual-link) so the DVI-I cable had to be returned.

DVI-I cables have 4 additional pins and the DVI-D port on the monitor didn’t have holes for those pins. That was my problem. I was able to do a swap with another cable that had male VGA (HD15) and component (RBG) ends. By the time the package was shipped, I had already moved to a new address blocks down the road. It finally got to my new place after 2 weeks due to the inefficient mail re-routing system in Minnesota.

But while the package was in-transit, I had sold my 22″ LCD and bought a new 24″ LCD monitor. This one had a DVI-I dual-link port meaning it could use both any form of DVI-A or DVI-D also meaning that my old cable woulda worked on this set. DOH! So I got my VGA to Component cable and was looking forlornly at my decision to do a swap. Plugged it in and goddangit. It’s not working. For a component to VGA connection, the end output must also be analog like a TV or a standard projector (not new high-def versions).

So I have a spare component to VGA cable hanging around uselessly. This is dumb.





Palm Gandolf / Treo 800 / Treo 500 / Centro foreal!

26 08 2007

US Telecom Sprint is now calling the shots. The Giz reported with some details on the new Palm Centro kiddie-smart phone. The Centro got a new, may I add better, color scheme compared to previous washed-out UK spyshot models. As I’d mentioned previously, it’s also the smallest Palm Treo phone ever and the QWERTY keypad is teeny but about as usuable as the other Palm Treos. It also has EVDO for high speed connectivity. From the looks of it, it’s running Palm/Garnet OS instead of the ultra-sluggy Windows Mobile 5/6 which is a good indicator that this shit is the real shit. Foreal!

Sprint gets to keep this $99 CDMA device exclusive for the first 90 days after it’s release in October then Verizon’s gonna jump the band wagon (which is possibly January 2008). I only hope they show some GSM love for T-Mobile and the devilish AT&T (telecom formerly known as Cingular).





New LCD TV for home via OfficeMax

25 08 2007

Just bought the $299 Soyo 24″ widescreenLCD flatpanel monitor. I saw it on Spofee last week and checked it out at OfficeMax with a friend. There wasn’t even a display stand version of it. 5 boxes of Soyo’s 24″ LCDs were left in the corner by the LCD and Laptops section. It was barely even visible.

So yesterday, went off to OfficeMax to get it praying and hoping they weren’t sold out. And whadya know. They weren’t sold out! I grabbed one of the OfficeMax employees and asked him if we could somehow test out the LCD so that I could check to see if there were any dead pixels. To my surprise, he said SURE. This would never happen to me at a Best Buy. Tried doing that and they’re all being fussy and denying me that privilege which resulted in me walking out without a monitor back that one time. So after much difficulty (the employee appeared to be a noob but a really helpful and nice person), we got it out working on one of the computers.

All I can say is WOW! Beautiful screen. The colors were bright and vibrant next to the other monitors. Contrast depth of 1000:1 (it’s starting to become standard finally), 500 cd/m2 brightness (highest in OfficeMax), 6ms response (other 24″ were at 8ms), DVI-I dual (allows for both DVI-A and DVI-D dual and single) and yada yada yada.

Then I did the dead pixel test. Opened up paint, colored the thing black, saved it, and used it as a wallpaper. Then hid the icons and the Windows task bar on the bottom. No dead pixels. Woohoo!

There was a $10 OFF a purchase of an item costing $20 or more. Used that too. Sadly, they charged me 7% tax instead of the standard 6.5% so taxes pumped the total up by 20 bucks leaving it at a still bargain price of $310 and change and a bit of great customer service. My experiences at OfficeMax’s everywhere has always been good and this was no exception.

Right now, have it hooked up to the DVD player via component (RGB) and DVI-D.

The ONLY PROBLEM or COMPLAINT I have with the 24″ Soyo is that it didn’t work with Intel Integrated Graphics card. That is not a problem for me since mine has an ATI but just so you know. And it’s a 100 bucks off just like that with no rebates. No room for complaints.