Wordless Wednesday

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“10-19 Snapshot” Cedar Park, 2021

Learning the Oven

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/45 sec, ISO3200
“Anova Oven” Cedar Park, 2021

It’s weird to think that one would have to learn how to use a home oven, but here we are. Welcome to the 2020s! I touched on it briefly in another post, but we have a fancy Anova Precision Oven which has a sous vide mode. It basically uses a water reservoir to regulate the moisture level in the oven as you cook food. This cooks the food evenly and also keeps it from drying out. The addition of a food probe ensures even more precision as the food reaches and is held at the proper temperature depending on the recipe.

It’s a fancy bit of technology for sure, but is it too much? Mariko tasked me to try some recipes for the oven, so I’ll have a better answer in the coming weeks but what I do know is that it’s actually fun to use because you can control the oven with an app on your phone. If you use one of the recipes from the Anova website, the oven changes modes automatically (varying moisture level, temperature, heat source direction, and probe control) during the cooking process. It’s very satisfying to glance at your phone and see the status of the oven.

So far I have prepared a pork tenderloin, which came out pretty good, and today I tried the “Reheat Pizza” recipe, which also was a success. I admit that this oven is overkill for two slices of pizza, but I had to test it out! 😂

Working on Sophie

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Vintage Hub” Cedar Park, 2021

Today I spent a couple of hour working on Sophie, my 1972 Peugeot UJ-10 bicycle. Last week, the chain broke so I ordered a new one and it arrived yesterday. I first did some measurements to make sure the new one had the correct length (and I was curious to see if the original one was the right length), then installed the new chain without incident. The only bummer was that I thought I had ordered a silver chain, but actually ordered a black one. Oh well. Matches the original at least. 😊

Since Sophie was to be out of action for a while, I also bought a new set of spokes for the front wheel to replace the original, rusted ones. I used a pair of small bolt cutters to remove the old spokes, then cleaned up the hub a bit. (photo above)

And then I thought, why not clean the inside of the hub too? So I removed the bearings, cleaned everything up inside, then packed it with new grease and re-assembled.

Lastly, I polished up the rim with some steel wool. It’s easier to do without spokes.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 55mm, f/6.4, 1/9 sec, ISO1600
“Super Chrome” Cedar Park, 2021

I’m still waiting for some new rim tape to arrive before I can re-assemble the wheel, so it’ll be a few more days before I can take Sophie out for a spin.

It seems like I’ve been replacing lots of parts, but actually there’s not too much to a vintage bicycle. In fact, I only have to do the same service (spokes and hub) to the rear wheel and Sophie will be good as new. Or actually better than new, since she’ll be sporting several modern parts! 😁

Running Farther

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/2100 sec, ISO32
“Sunrise Clouds” Cedar Park, 2021

This morning I went for an early run, intent on completing another half-marathon distance. Last week’s run was difficult due to the fact that it was a hotter part of the day, and also because I didn’t have any water until the run was complete. That’s what happens with spontaneous exercise I guess. 😋

This time around I did a bit of research beforehand and planned a route that would bring me back home a few times for hydration. It’s basically a four-mile loop, run three times, which would provide water breaks at the 4 and 8-mile marks (I put a big Nalgene on the porch). I also was starting out at 7:30 am when the temperature was a comfortable 79°F / 26°C.

As it turns out, this plan was a life-saver because at about mile 3, last night’s ramen decided to make it’s lingering presence known and a bathroom break was in order. That might be TMI, but it’s actually good to know for the future.

During the break, I drank about 300 ml of water and I also grabbed my wireless headphones before heading out for the second leg of the run. I usually run without headphones, but I was grateful to have some tunes in my ears for the longer distance. Another good thing to keep in mind for the upcoming Austin Marathon.

The second loop was excellent, and I felt really good. There are two hills on the route and I felt strong tackling them.

At the 8-mile break, I drank another 300 ml of water before starting the third loop. After running about 10 minutes I decided to take off my shirt and run “American-style”, as my wife calls it. 😂 But my shirt at that point was drenched with sweat and kind of heavy to carry in my hand so I looped back home to drop it off by my water, then set out again on the route. That little detour back home added a couple of miles which meant that I didn’t have to run the full third-leg of the route.

However, I decided to just go for it and figured that I could make a shorter loop if I felt like it and still complete the half-marathon. At this point in the run (10 miles), my legs were losing energy, but I felt no pain in my joints (I was hurting last week!) and I wasn’t winded at all, nor was I sweating a whole lot. Plus, running “American-style” is so liberating!

I ended up completing the full leg, so my total distance was an even 16 miles – my longest run ever! I’m pretty proud of that.

I’ve been registered for the Austin Marathon for a couple years now (it has been cancelled two years because of COVID-19) and am hoping that things become safe enough by February where I can run in it. It’s still up in the air, and if they decide to hold the event, I still might not do it because I don’t want to be around so many people. But we’ll see! That being said, I would like to run my own 26.2 miler well before February rolls around. I honestly don’t care too much about the event, but I do care about the distance.

If you are on Strava, let’s connect so that we can cheer each other on!

Watching Ozu Movies

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.6, 1/55 sec, ISO3200
“An Autumn Afternoon” Cedar Park, 2021

I’ve been watching movies by the director Yasujirō Ozu lately. When I first watched an Ozu movie, I wasn’t too impressed by this “master of cinema” but the more I watched, the more I enjoyed it and now he’s one of my favorite directors. Ozu utilized the same actors for many of his films and when one appears on the screen for the first time in a film it’s like an old friend has come for a visit. I love that.

Today I watched “An Autumn Afternoon / 秋刀魚の味” (1962) and think it may be my favorite Ozu movie. There’s a special charm to the visual aesthetic of 1960s Japan that I am attracted to, and this film has plenty of images of the era to admire. It’s fun to see!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Michiko” Cedar Park, 2021