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by mat

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Buy my stuff! - modernist wooden jewellery, award-winning computer accessories and more.

"Do you realise that every blade of grass is a different shade of green?" - from My Voice Will Go With You

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Monster Mower

An eBay bargain which turned out to be somewhat (a LOT) bigger than expected.

Before, after, labelled ignition switch, in action. It's as least as much fun as it looks.
7th Jun 2011, 12:34   | tags:comments (5)

media centre PC

Had this system for a while, but it was kicking around in an old-ass ATX box behind the TV. A room-reshuffle has made it more visible, so decided to spruce up it's case a bit.

Bought an old radio from local junk antique shop for £25. Ripped it's guts out and replicated it's back panel in MDF. Mounted computer on aforementioned panel. The copper strips with wires going to them are surface mount LEDs. Note acoustically decoupled disk drive to minimise noise (yes, elastic bands tied in knots). That huge fan is the quietest on the market, it's inaudible from more than about 10cm away.

Slot it all in and power up. Need to reattach the tuning/volume knobs, but apart from that, boof.
16th May 2011, 18:30   | tags:,,comments (9)

ghetto sous vide

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Cooking at low temperature in a water bath under a vacuum produces delicious results. A vacuum packer can be had for around 30 quids, but thermostatically controlled water baths are extremely expensive.

This is a £25-from-sainsburys deep fat fryer, filled with water and turned right down. It holds temperature to three or four degrees either side of the desired temp, which isn't much less accurate than a £300+ sous vide machine. A certain amount of setting/adjusting/setting/adjusting is needed as the thermostat scale stops at 150C, hence thermometer.

In there right now is some pork belly. In eight hours time that's going to be delicious.
28th Apr 2011, 09:26   | tags:,comments (7)

Sunday Lunch at Heston's

Went for easter sunday lunch at The Fat Duck. OMG. It was near-indescribably good. Fifteen courses over almost six hours, each one delicious and magical and perfectly constructed, presented and served. Pure awesome. It was an eye-wateringly large amount of money, and a five+ hour round trip in the car, but it was worth every penny. Really nice to see the people we were with too. I fear we may have started an annual Michelin-starred-lunch-meetup tradition!

The photos, then. We're past the liquid-nitrogen poached-at-the-table aperitifs (wow!) and the first course, red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream - which might have been my favourite course, as it goes. First shot is:

Jelly of quail, crayfish cream with chicken liver parfait, oak moss and truffle toast. Also a breath-freshener-like film with the flavour of oak moss, and dry ice on the table.

Snail porridge! Stunning.

Roast foie gras with rhubarb, braised kombu and crab biscuit. Got a bit carried away and started eating before taking a photo.

Next four - mock turtle soup. First the un-souped plate as it arrived, then the gold "watch" as it dissolved in the cup. Next, stirred gold in the now beef-consomme. Finally, the completed dish. Nothing says decadent like eating actual gold.

Final two: Sounds of the Sea. Conch shell + ipod, playing the sound of the beach. Then the plate itself, complete with edible sand, seaweeds and some of the best sashimi I've ever had. This was the only course where nobody spoke, as we all had our own headphones in.

Continued in part two
25th Apr 2011, 11:27   | tags:,comments (7)

part two

Salmon poached in liquorice gel with asparagus, vanilla mayo, pink grapefruit and golden trout roe.

Anjou pigeon with blood pudding puree

Risotto of spelt and Umbles

Hot and Iced tea (too exciting to take photo first! cup was half hot tea and half cold, with no visible border!)

Taffety tart with blackcurrent sorbet, fennel, rose and candied lemon. The sorbet + fennel was one of the best mouthfuls of the whole meal.

The BFG. Black Forest Gateaux with frozen kirsch cream, served with the smell of the black forest.

Cheese course (not pictured)

Whisk(e)y wine gums, served stuck to a picture frame.

"Like a Kid in a Sweet Shop" - assorted wonders.
25th Apr 2011, 11:14   | tags:,comments (5)

notice to Crytek

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Helvetica. It's Helvetica on the New York subway signs.

This is clearly Arial.
18th Apr 2011, 20:20   | tags:,comments (3)


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Moon, friday night. Heavy processing from AVI sources via AviStack, imagej and showfoto. Also a bonus image of saturn too.
21st Mar 2011, 01:17   | tags:,comments (6)


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Tonight's setup. Meade LXD55 200mm Schmidt-Newtonian is the white tube, SkyWatcher 90mm Maksutov Cassegrain is the blue one. Perspective is a bit confusing in the third shot - the Mak is actually really small and the SN is absolutely massive. Love that moonlight though.

Actual images taken through both scopes still (slowly) processing.