Sep 26, 2013

A Clone in the Dark

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing PS Store when I saw a few interesting games you could get for free, if you had PS+. Also, there was an offer for getting 3 months extra when subscribing for a year. The price was €49.95, which seemed reasonable, considering all the free games I would get to play. Games I wouldn't buy separately, because they might be too difficult for me.

I subscribed and the first game I tried was Gravity Rush for PS Vita. My suspicions about that one proved right as I got stuck in a boss battle I haven't managed to win yet. I would be very annoyed, if I had paid full price for the game, but now it's just a pity, because I'd love to explore the city further. I haven't totally given up yet, but decided to play something else for a while and try this one again later.

That something else turned out to be Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark. I loved Portal and even though this looks very different, the basic idea is still the same, getting through fields with all sorts of nasty lasers and turrets and other fairly lethal contraptions. I first thought this could be too difficult for me, but as the game was free, I had nothing to lose (except time).


The game turned out to be good fun, and not too difficult, although it takes me a lot of time and tries to figure out what needs to be done. One of the really good things about the game is that you can skip bosses. For example, I had big trouble figuring out chamber 1-8 and decided to check what the skip function would do. It took me to Chapter 2 where the chambers aren't quite as tricky. Although, I did go to YouTube for help and managed to pass 1-8 as well.

The really hard part of the game is finding the collectibles. They're called helixes and they're so well hidden that I cannot imagine how people manage to find them. The only one I have found myself so far was in the very first chamber where it was clearly visible. For the other ones, I've resorted to YouTube videos.

The game has cross-buy, so you can get it for PS Vita and PS3 for the same price (or for free in this case). Before I realized that, I wondered a bit about the cloud sync function I saw on one of its screens in Vita. That is for saving progress in one device and transferring it to the other. I'll need to try that one as I have downloaded the game also to my PS3, although I plan to play it mostly in Vita, because it is so much faster to start playing with it (no switching cables like with the console, which shares the monitor with my laptop and uses the same kind of cable).


Sep 16, 2013

Mushrooms

My left foot is still hurting, but I decided to go looking for mushrooms anyway yesterday. Fortunately, my foot doesn't mind cycling, so I got to the woods without any problems. When in there, I could have had a rest, except this chair was probably moist/wet and inhabited. It wasn't actually in the middle of nowhere as I was standing on the logging road when I took the picture, and the main road is a little bit to my right here. It always amazes me how lazy people can be. You need a car to get a chair like that in this place, so you might as well have taken it to where it belongs.


The new zipper pull in my vest is a compass. I like getting really small gear to minimize weight. I don't actually need a compass where I was going as I'm already familiar with the terrain, but it still feels safer to have one, just in case.


I should have gone a week or two earlier. Now the woolly milk-caps were there, but they were all dry and full of maggots. Still, they were there, which means that nobody else has found the place yet and there will be mushrooms for me there next year (provided I'm able to go).

I was disappointed, but decided to walk around a bit anyway and see if there would be anything interesting to photograph. This strange looking thing is a fungus of the family Polyporaceae. There are over 200 species of Polyporaceae in Finland and I have no idea which one this is.


Another unidentified species. You can tell just by looking that these are not edible, whatever they may be.


My disappointment vanished when I found these. It's actually two separate mushrooms, but they were growing in a hole so close to each other that when I picked one, the other one followed. I could actually see just a half of one mushroom from under the mosses, but as I had just found one similar mushroom a bit earlier, I knew immediately what it was. These are called Albatrellus ovinus (lampaankääpä) and they are very good edible mushrooms when young. The young ones are off-white, whereas the older ones are light brown or yellowy.


So, I found three big mushrooms with about half of each usable. I removed most maggoty parts already in the forest and back home, checked the rest more carefully as I diced them. Basically, you need to get the bigger concentrations of maggots out. An individual, almost invisible hole here and there isn't that dangerous (it's just extra protein anyway).


These ended up in the pot with some onions, coconut milk and rice. Not a traditional Finnish recipe, but tasty and glutenfree and dairyfree.

Sep 15, 2013

Dehydrator

I've been planning on getting a food dehydrator and finally decided to get it. I would have liked the heavy duty model, which costs €250, but that was a bit too much, so I got the one that cost €50 and has less settings.

The first photo shows the dehydrator set with the minimum space between the trays. The instructions said to turn it on empty for 5 minutes to remove any residue from the fan. I did that and put a thermometer inside to check how warm it gets with this setup. It showed over 50°C in the middle tray when using setting 1 and that is too much.


You can increase the space between the trays by turning the trays to another position. With setting 1, this setup gave 45-47°C, which is better. I'm planning to do some experiments with ventilation by raising one or two trays more, so there will be openings on the sides as well. This would probably work well with stuff you can also dry in the room temperature, such as herbs and mushrooms.


Here is my first try with the dehydrator. I used a slicer to get even thickness for the banana slices. It took 6 hours on setting 1 to get these dry enough. The machine makes a bit too much noise and that can get annoying, but you can't really expect too much for the price I paid for it (compared to what one with all the proper settings costs).


Here are the dried slices. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I didn't add anything, just dried the banana slices as they were, but they are actually very good.


I'm planning on drying all kinds of fruit, depending on what happens to be available cheaply at the time. Glutenfree müsli is fairly expensive, so I'm thinking of just buying the flakes and adding the fruit myself. That way I'll get just the mix I want.