IT Consulting

     Hobbies
       Music
         Bass Guitar
        I got my first bass guitar when I was 16, a Hagstrom. If worked well with my small hands. Around 1975 I re-built and had custom finished a fretless Fender Precision. Selling it and my 1967 Fender Bassman amp was one of the stupidest things I've done.

        I searched to find most of these pictures. If I improperly used your picture, please contact me.

        Click a picture to bring up an image browser. The image browser cycles through all clickable pictures on this Sam@Home page.
        1967 Hagstrom Bass
        1967 Hagstrom Bass

        My memory of this bass is dim, I think this picture is what I had.
        1974 Fender Precision Bass
        1974 Fender Precision Bass

        I bought this maple neck bass used in 1981. The picture is a 1978, mine has a handmade, much smaller pick guard in a light color plastic.
        Kala U-Bass
        Kala U-Bass

        In 2018 I bought this fretless Kala U-Bass. It's easy on my hands since I don't practice enough to build up calluses.
         Acoustic Guitar
        1981 Guild D55
        1981 Guild D55

        In 1981 I treated myself to a Guild D-55. It's in mint condition since I haven't played it regularly for years. One of these days...
         Hammered Dulcimer
        1988 Dusty Strings D500 Hammered Dulcimer
        1988 Dusty Strings D500 Hammered Dulcimer

        I bought this Dusty Strings D500B Hammered Dulcimer built in 1988. I don't play it enough, I've been re-stringing it for over a year...
         Others
        I have two bowed psalterys and two autoharps. I'll use one of the autoharps to fix the the other. One of these days...

        Pictures coming.
       Antiques
      In the past I collected way too many antiques. Most have been in storage for years, I'm in the process of selling them. Details coming soon.
       Horology
      I was a very active clock & watch collector for decades. Details coming soon.
       Birding
      In the 19080s I was an avid birdwatcher. Most of my birdwatching now is while I'm out and about.
     Food & Drink
       Recipes
      • Chocolate Cheesecake
        Decades ago I measured the saturated fat in one of these: over 1lb! Variations include adding Grand Marnier or Kahlua.
        Crust:
        • 1 Package Honey Graham Crackers
        • 5 oz Almonds
        • 1 tsp Nutmeg
        • 1 tsp Mace
        • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
        • 6 tbl Unsalted Butter

        Filling:
        • 4 Eggs
        • 1/2 cup Sugar
        • 8 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate - high quality
        • 2 oz Unsweetened Chocolate - high quality
        • 8 tbl Unsalted Butter
        • 2 cups Sour Cream
        • 24 oz Cream Cheese (3 8oz packages)
        • 1/4 cup white flour
        • 1/3 cup Kahlua or Grand Marnier (optional)

        Directions:
        1. Take out the Sour Cream and Cream Cheese and let them warm up to room temperature.
        2. Put the chocolate and butter for the filling in a double boiler and melt over a very low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat when completely melted.
        3. Put the graham crackers in a clear plastic bag and use a roller to crush them into fine crumbs. Grind the almonds in a blender to a crumb texture. Mix the almonds and graham cracker crumbs together., making sure clumps of nuts are broken up. Add the spices and mix well. Melt the butter gently, then add butter until the crumbs will hold their shape. Cover the bottom of a 9" to 10" pan (with removable sides) with crumbs and press them down firmly into shape. Tilt the pan on an angle, put a small amount of crumbs on the side and press it to the side. Continue around the pan.
        4. Put the eggs in a small mixer bowl and beat at high speed. Gradually stir in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is thick and pale. Set this bowl aside.
        5. Put the cream cheese in a large mixer bowl. Beat until light and fluffy - this can take a while. Slow the beater down mixing speed. Add the Kahlua or Grand Marnier. Fold the egg mixture into cheese mixture. Add the flour and continue mixing. Stir the sour cream into the chocolate. Blend this mixture in. Use a rubber spatula to clean the walls of the bowl.
        6. Pour the mixture into the crumb-lined pan.
        7. Bake at 350° for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and cool it very slowly for about an hour until it’s at 100° (Prop the oven door open a tad if necessary). Remove from oven, finish cooling on a rack.
        8. Chill the cheesecake solidly, then remove sides, clean up crumbs, and slice. Serve near room temperature for best flavor.
      • Pumpkin Pie
        Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cloves, plus black pepper to bring out the other spices.
        Filling:
        • 1 cup Heavy cream
        • 3 Eggs
        • 3/4 cup Light brown sugar
        • 1 lb Solid pack pumpkin (1 small can)
        • 1 tsp Natural vanilla extract
        • 1/2 tsp Salt
        • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
        • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
        • 1/2 tsp Mace
        • 1 tsp Nutmeg
        • 1 tsp Cinnamon
        • 1/2 tsp Ground cloves

        Crust:
        • 1 9" Extra deep pie crust. Mrs. Smith had no artificial ingredients the last time I checked.

        Whipped Cream (optional):
        • 2 cups Heavy cream (whipping cream).
        • 1/4 cup White sugar
        • 1 tsp Natural vanilla extract

        Directions:
        1. The whipped cream's mixing bowl and beaters must be well-cooled in the refrigerator before making whipped cream. Start cooling them first if using whipped cream.
        2. Preheat oven to 425°.
        3. Heat the cream until it bubbles around the edges. Let it stand to cool off.
        4. Mix the eggs with the sugar. Make sure the lumps are broken up. Add all the spices and vanilla. Mix in the pumpkin and blend well. Gradually stir in the hot cream, stirring as you pour.
        5. Pour the mixture into the crust until it is right near the top.
        6. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350° and continue baking for 30 to 60 minutes until a knife (or toothpick) stuck into the mixture comes out relatively clean. Watch the crust for burning, take the pie out if you think the crust is getting too dark.

        Making the Whipped Cream (optional):
        1. If you haven't already done this: the whipped cream's mixing bowl and beaters must be well-cooled in the refrigerator before making whipped cream.
        2. Start beating the cream alone at low speed, then blend in the sugar and vanilla.
        3. Turn the mixer up to whipping speed, whip until the cream holds its shape. Do not over-whip – the cream will get weird.
       Liqueur
      Technically these are not liqueurs since I don't add sugar. My flavored liquors are made from organic fruits. I use Everclear 190 proof grain alcohol because it has no taste and is probably as close to organic as possible.
      • Cherry Flavored Liquor
        I've made variations using tart Montmorency cherries, tart Arides cherries, dark sweet cherries, and combos of the three. The Arides are grown in Eastern Washington. To me the Montmorency has the best flavor. I made these to stay liquid in a home freezer. Unlike limoncello their taste doesn't require such cold. My next experiment is to lower the alcohol content to make a room-temperature liquor.
        Ingredients:
        • 1.5 lbs Monmorency cherries
        • 300 ml Everclear
        • 400 ml Distiller Water

        Steps:
        • Defrost the cherries.
        • Repeat until all the cherries have been mashed:
          • Place a small amount of cherries in a sealable plastic bag, squeeze to remove the air, and seal it.
          • Use a rolling pin to mash the cherries.
          • Empty the plastic bag into a large jar.
        • Add the Everclear and water to the jar.
        • Put the lid on the jar then shake the mixture.
        • Age for 7 to 10 days, shaking the mixture at least once daily.
        • Place three or more layers of cheesecloth in a funnel. The cheesecloth should fully cover the funnel.
        • Place the funnel over a second jar that's as large as the first.
        • Repeat until all the mixture is gone:
          • Shake the mixture.
          • Pour some of the mixture in the cheesecloth, do not fill to the top of the cheesecloth.
          • Wait until the liquid stops draining.
          • Gently grab the cheesecloth at the top and close your hand over it until the mixture is sealed off. This is similar to filling a cake icing bag.
          • Squeeze the cheesecloth until no liquid remains.
          • Hold the cheesecloth upside down in the sink. Pour water on the cheesecloth to remove most of the remaining solids.
          • Wring the cheesecloth to remove most of the water.
          • Place the cheesecloth back in the funnel. Be sure the side that contacted the mixture is facing up.
        • There will still be some fine sediment that can be removed using coffee filters.
        • Rinse the funnel and the original jar under water so there's no solid matter on either.
        • Place the funnel over the newly cleaned jar.
        • Push at least three coffee filters into the funnel so they take the shape of the funnel.
        • Repeat until all the fluid is gone:
          • Pour some liquid into the funnel. Do not allow any liquid to overflow the edges of the coffee filters.
          • Wait until all the fluid has drained.
          • If the filters get clogged and the fluid drains too slowly replace the coffee filters with new ones.
        • I prefer not to add sugar. If you want a true sweetened liqueur:
          • Start with 2 cups of sugar in one cup of water, boil the mixture while stirring and then let the mixture cool.
          • Repeatedly add a little sugar mixture into the liqueur, stir well, and taste until you get the desired sweetness.
      • Limoncello
        As close to traditional Italian limoncello as I could get using Meyer lemons instead of the traditional Amalfi lemons (and not adding sugar).
        Coming soon.
     In Motion
       On Foot
      Back before my mid 30s I ran a lot. I damaged a knee enough to make me stop running. Sports medicine wasn't as good as it is today, so I never got back into running.

      Now I'm walking to keep fit and lose weight.
       Bicycle
      I've owned my main bicycle since 1975. It's an early 70s Mondia Special. It came with all Campagnolo equipment except for the Mafac brakes. The brakes were replaced with Campy brakes before I even rode it. It was this hideous white, orange, and chrome. My friends called it the pumpkin bike. After a year or two I had Matt Assenmacher repaint it. It still has his excellent paint job. I haven't ridden it since 1990. Since it's a target for bike thieves, I bought a cheap Giant mountain bike around 1990 for getting around Seattle. Nothing worth stealing on it.

      I worked in two bicycle shops from 1975-1977. While in Ann Arbor I bought tons of tools, including a lot of Campagnolo. I still have them.

      In late 1977 I bicycled from New Jersey to Key West, Florida. I biked across the old 7 mile and 3 mile bridges (it was off season). I spent the winter in Key West working in a bicycle shop and then in a Chinese restaurant as a cook & waiter.

      I couldn't see a good rural route into New Orleans so I decided to bypass it to the north. While along Lake Pontchartrain a nice person invited me to stay with him, his wife, and friends, for a couple of weeks at their house in New Orleans. He drove me over the long bridge. I got to see the Streetcar Named Desire as well as the city. I was tired of biking into the wind, so instead of biking out I bought a 2 week Amtrak rail pass.

      In 12 days I went to LA, up to Seattle, east to Chicago, back to Seattle on the other route, back to LA, and finally over to Flagstaff, Arizona.

      From Flagstaff I biked down Sedona Canyon and back, and then up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Of course I stopped at the Grand Canyon. I spent 10 days working in Zion National Park.

      After leaving Bryce Canyon I had a strong tailwind biking downhill along the Sevier River. I set a personal record of 130 miles in one day. I could have gone further but I stopped for something to drink and all they had was sugar water. My blood sugar crashed 10 miles later and I limped into a campground. North of Evanston, Wyoming I had a strong tail wind going down a steep long straight canyon, I estimate I hit over 60mph. It was the fastest I've ever gone on a bicycle. It helped that my loaded bike weighed 70-90 lbs.
       Motorcycle

      Here I am circa 1972 airborne on my Hodaka Ace 100 B+.

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      The bikes below are listed in the order I owned them.

      I searched to find most of these pictures. If I improperly used your picture, please contact me.

      Click a picture to bring up an image browser. The image browser cycles through all clickable pictures on this Sam@Home page.
      1968 Triumph Bonneville
      1968 Triumph Bonneville

      Picture from
      Mecam Auctions.
      1971 Hodaka Ace 100 B+
      1971 Hodaka Ace 100 B+

      Picture from BIKEPICS.com
      1973 Kawasaki F11
      1973 Kawasaki F11

      Picture from NETTIMOTO.
      1975 Laverda 750GT
      1975 Laverda 750GT

      Picture from Motorcycles*For*Sale.biz.

      I have an original brochure. I scanned it years ago, Once I find it I'll rescan it with a better scanner and post it here.
      1970s Yamaha RD350
      1970s Yamaha RD350

      Picture from Bikes Restored.
      1975 BMW R100RS
      1975 BMW R100RS

      This picture of my BMW is not high quality. The picture was taken in the early 1980s by my brother who owned the bike before selling it to me.
       Car
      I like to drive and get out of Seattle. Here's the mileage I've put on my personal vehicles:

      • 160,000 - 1980 Mazda GLC, 1980-1993
      • 323,000 - 1993 Toyota Tacoma - 1993-2000
      • 360,000 - 2000 Toyota Tacoma - 2000-2017
      • 058,000 - 2005 Scion xA - 2017-Present
      • 901,000 - Total

      Including what I've driven before 1980 I'm close to 1 million miles.
       Truck
      While traveling around the country I lived in Idaho Falls, ID for a couple of years. I lived and worked on a potato farm and learned to drive semis. I drove over-the-road (interstate) for about a year.

      My first job was hauling hay from Terreton, Idaho to various dairies and ranches in Washington, Montana, and Idaho. Occasionally I'd haul grain to Portland. I'd usually haul fertilizer back. The oddest load I ever hauled was wishing wells. They were made by cementing slabs of lava from a local lava flow, with a cedar shake roof. That load attracted a lot of attention on the drive from Terreton to Houston, Texas.

      My second job was hauling swinging beef from Roberts Idaho to Denver, Los Angeles, and Portland. Swinging beef are sides (halves) of the cow hung on a single hook (hence swinging). Not the safest load to haul. When in California I'd haul produce back to Idaho or Utah.

      When hauling perishables you check the temperature inside the trailer every few hours. One time the reefer malfunctioned. Its thermometer at the front of the trailer and my checking at the back showed that the temperature was OK. But most of the nearly 25 tons of beef froze during the 2 day drive to LA. Luckily, the meat could be ground into hamburger so it wasn't a total loss.

      My career changed to computers for three reasons. First, I wrecked the truck I was driving (more below) and the company didn't have another. Second, I got another job driving truck but their truck got caught in Montana because of Mt. St. Helens ash (about 5/20/1980). Third, I was offered a programming job while the truck was caught.

      Below is the Idaho Falls Post-Register coverage of the wreck. I got the job because the previous driver quit after jack-knifing this Peterbilt at the exact same location. The road surface was defective and held water in a way that caused hydroplaning. The county hadn't fixed it because there weren't enough wrecks. Go figure...That Peterbilt seemed destined to die at that spot. BTW: the man was not unnamed, he's Eugene.
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