Microsoft File Transfer Manager

Today I was using this to download 4Gb ISO files from MSDN. Browsers failed, even the Firefox DownItAll! Plugin. It was slow, bursts of 100K with 10 second intervals. The speed was that of a bad modem. And it would hang up every 10 minutes and require a manual resume command.

After 10 hours and much hair pulling, found a post recommending disabling the SSL connection (Options…, Connections Tab, Uncheck HTTPS).

Wow. Download complete in 10 minutes. All in one piece. AArrggghhh.

LA Burritos, circa 1985

Back in the dark ages, circa 1985 or so, I worked for Richard Spielman Precision Electronics, on the north side of Chicago. The owner, Richard Spielman, was a great guy, an atheist, an entrepreneur, and a foodie before his time, as trips to restaurants were part of our all-night construction binges. (He has also disappeared from the face of the earth.) We made light-beam devices for counting linen, and one of our installations was at ALS ? (Associated Laundry Services? Systems?) in Los Angeles.

So when install time came, we shipped 30 boxes via UPS, checked a box of tools and an oscilloscope, and the 386 PC that ran the thing, 100 floppy disks (3 sets of backups because something always went wrong) and flew to Los Angeles.

Commercial laundries are generally very industrial, but this place was forbidding. Even the hotel parking lot was behind barbed wire, and you had to push a button to open the gate. Not a good neighborhood.

But that didn’t stop us from venturing out in search of food. Richie found this burrito place, and I was wondering about it the other day. I can’t remember what happened ten minutes ago, how will I remember this?

So google “Los Angeles Burritos”. They flip up. I find Rick’s, a longtime favorite of Steve Dahl. Ten pages later, click off to Yelp. Same search. On page 11, “El Rey Tacos“. I remember Tacos El Rey. Boy that whacks a brain cell. Read the 2nd review. “I wasn’t brave enough to try the GARBAGE BURRITO.” I think this is it…

King Blvd and Normandie (again with Normandie…) Bad neighborhood. So far everything fits. Check Google Street View. Could be. As the Magic 8-Ball says, “Answer Hazy”.

AFAIK, this is it. One piece of history, complete.

Bayless Chicken – sort of

I bought a package of chicken at Jones’ Country Meats recently, on sale, and looked for a good recipe to make. I found an interesting one in Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday, called Chicken in Tangy Escabeche of Caramelized Onions, Carrots, and Jalapenos. It is basically a skillet dish with lots of good stuff, sounded good.

Reviewing the recipe, Rick suggests refried black beans, which we love, so I tried to find his recipe. It was not in the book, strangely, but I was able to find it online in two parts, first to cook the beans, then to make the refried beans. Kind of a pain, I will merge the recipes. I started cooking the dried beans in the afternoon, since they take two hours.

I opened up the chicken package and found connected thigh-leg parts. I thought they would be split. SO first, break out Aunt Lynn’s Cutco cleaver and hack off the back and try to find the joint in the still-frozen chicken. Complete with no lost fingers – success!

Then I started the spice rub, with pepper, allspice, oregano and salt. First a bit of olive oil, then added the rub. Smelled good. It was hot outside, and I did not want to heat the kitchen with cooking a skillet dish, so I decided to just grill it as is.

We grilled some corn on the cob from a local farmer, make a nice salad from our CSA spinach and the chicken slow grilled wonderfully. Skin not burnt, meat done well but not dry. Good Saturday project, and leftovers for lunch!