Showing posts from June 14, 2020

Hokkaido Milk Bread Attempt #3

I made Hokkaido Mile Bread yet again - I really want to get it right! Each time, I'm getting closer and closer to what I actually want. I saved my own version of the recipe I started from, making edits all the way every time I encountered a problem that the original recipe didn't address. Dough didn't rise? Research why and figure out a solution for next time. Dough too wet? Dough too sticky? Yeast didn't activate? Baking is so fun but persnickety! This time around, the yeast activated, the dough acted appropriate, it was fun to use, I had a proper rolling pin so I was able to be more exact in my pieces of dough, and I didn't overbake the bread! However it didn't rise nearly as much as I wished it would have. I rewatched the How Tasty video to see where I went wrong, and the only thing I can see is that I must not have kneaded enough. So, next week, since I'll still have good ingredients, I'll go for attempt #4, with a fair amount of kneading and tr

Things that are pretty cool but don't need a full blog post

I'm going through articles from my email folder that I mentioned yesterday, and I'm finding cool stuff - but I'd have to do a lot of research and writing to make them full posts. Or I could just post a bunch of them here and let the reader decided if they're worth extra learning. Like, this really neat MP4 about how the angle of sunlight and amount of light changes throughout the year due to the Earth's tilt: This is a really neat Conde Nast article about the Transcontinental Airmail Route. It looked like the route went right by my parents' house, but I was disappointed to see that none of the arrows that are left are anywhere near their place. Here's another article that goes more in depth: As a person that enjoys interesting wheat forward whiskey, this

The Problem with Pocket

I installed Pocket a few months back in an attempt to collect and organize the numerous articles I had gathered over the last year or so. I have a bad habit of researching something, getting a 101 level education, being interested it more information but I don't have enough time that day and end up saving the articles in tabs I had opened that were relevant to my research. Not wanting to just throw them away - the internet is a big place, and I might forget what I looked at if I go to the History tab of my browser - I email myself the article so I can refer to it later. Except I never get to that second part. But I really want to! I'd love to be an authority on many things - music composition, photography, SQL and cooking! I thought the problem might have been not having all the articles organized by type or length, or ease of accessibility. Pocket might solve that for me! It didn't. I bet it's not completely Pocket's fault, though. I would absolve the applica

Exams are back on the table

A few months ago, I found two SQL certification exams to take - 70-764 Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure and 70-765 Provisioning SQL Databases  to get the MSCA in Database Administration. I started studying, scheduled the first one to be done in April, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and I cancelled my exam. When I looked in May to reschedule it in mid June, I learned that the exams would retire June 30th, and I knew I couldn't get both exams studied for and passed in a matter of weeks, so I stopped studying, trying to figure out what I wanted to do for certification. When I looked in mid-June to see what certifications that Microsoft had, I noticed that 70-764 and 70-765 had new a new retirement date of January 31, 2021 due to the pandemic. I have time! I can still study for these exams! I spoke with my friend Tim, and he suggested I study for a different certification that is likely easier - MSCA Database Developer - because I've spent the last 7 years writin

First (but not original) Song with FL Studio 20

It's not an original song, don't get too excited. It is a song from Alfred's Adult Learner, Level 1. It's a lovely song, though! O Sole Mio. I like the arrangement, and the ebb and flow of the song. You might not notice it because I played the piece rather terribly. However, this is just a test to get myself comfortable with playing again and playing to a metronome and using the DAW. I made two mistakes and rather than re-record or learn how to punch in and out (something I knew how to do on my old electronic piano) I decided to use the Piano Roll on the DAW to fix the mistakes. I just tossed it onto SoundCloud for now, but I think I'll go dredge up old HTML knowledge and embed a player sometime for future tracks. It's not great, but it's just a test. And if it was all that great, then I'd have nothing better to post tomorrow!

Moving around to make music easier

I moved my desk out of my living room into my dining room due to my downstairs neighbors and their music a few months ago. I believe my last communication with them got them to listen to heavy bass music either quieter or less frequently. However, I'm not going to move my desk back to my living room, because the light in the dining room is a little better, both natural and artificial. I removed the chairs and leaf from the table and put them in my guest room, as I don't expect to have any guests anytime soon. Today, I've put the dining table in the living room and the keyboard into the dining room, facing the window and plugged it in and hooked it up to my computer. I'm now proficient enough to get FL Studio to record my piano, with piano sounds, even! (My first foray ended up recording on the kick drum track.) Sadly, there's a lag between the computer and my USB headphones, and there's a slight pause between the first two measures of the metronome and the a

Coronavirus Continues

Coronavirus continues in the US, and is rising in about half of the states. Between most states NOT having a notable outbreak (yet) and no federal response, except blaming others, nor state governments banding together to decide what would be best, like mandating masks, it seems this infectious disease is here for the rest of the year and likely part of next year, too. Cases in my state are rising rapidly. I'm enjoying working from home still, and I don't expect to get back to the office until there is a safe and effective vaccine. Too many stories of younger healthy adults without co-morbidities getting very ill. I'm starting to miss travelling and hiking. I could  go hiking in Umstead, but that still seems too risky for my tolerance level. And, around this time I start preparing for my twice-annual trip to Ohio to visit family and friends, but I've cancelled that. At least I'm not spending a lot of money. Heck, I filled up my gas tank in February 28th, and did