Got an electric bike (RadWagon 2018 Cargo Bike), my dog gives the thumbs up

I live in Redmond which has the tag line "bicycle capital of the northwest."

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Part of my criteria for an electric bike is one that i can take dog with me and go to the dog park at Marymoor.

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Took my dog, "Bea" today and she had a great time. Rode there at 20 mph, carrying a 50 lb dog and myself.

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The bike above is a RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes in Seattle. The cargo bags hold plenty of stuff. Have done a Whole foods run and a Trader Joes. Next is a Costco run. No paper towels or toilet paper. :-)

Oh and the other criteria is my son can use electric bike.  It weights 70 lbs has a 750 watt motor. He can use it in electric power mode only and zip around probably 30 miles without peddling given he weighs less than 100 lbs. I have been riding with peddle assist and it looks like I can go about 35-40 miles at 20 mph. Using my Apple Watch my heart rate gets pushed to 145 bpm.

Why Containers didn't work in data centers like it did in the shipping industry

Google was one of the first to use containers for data centers. Then Microsoft. Then there was a flood of companies using containers in data centers. Google doesn't mention shipping containers and the term containers has been taken over by software containers.

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Why were shipping containers so much bigger impact than data center containers? How big was the impact of shipping containers? An economic study covered by The Economist says that shipping containers account for 320% growth in shipments in its first 5 years and a 790% over a total of 20 years from the start of standardization in 1966.

The shipping container caused the manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and end-users to change their way of thinking and operating to be faster and lower cost.

An example of where data center containers didn't work is Microsoft found it was slower to use its ITPAC containers and is reducing its use.

But because it has placed so much focus on growing its cloud services in recent years, Microsoft has had to expand data center capacity around the world at a pace that couldn’t be achieved with containers, Kushagra Vaid, general manager for hardware infrastructure at the company’s cloud and enterprise division, said in an interview.
— http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/04/20/microsoft-moves-away-from-data-center-containers

The same article mentions Microsoft transitioning to standardization like OCP.

About two years ago, Microsoft’s infrastructure team made a radical change to its hardware approach, going from different product teams making their own hardware decisions to standardizing on a handful of server designs that took cues from server specs Facebook open sourced through its Open Compute Project initiative.
...
The team also realized it would gain a lot from standardizing on the data center design as it scaled globally, but standardizing on the ITPAC wouldn’t make sense. It used ITPACs in data centers it built for itself, but to scale at the pace that it wanted to scale, it would have to take colocation space from data center providers, so standardizing on a non-containerized colo design made a lot more sense, Vaid explained. This design can be used across both the huge data centers Microsoft builds for itself and the facilities it leases from commercial providers.

So why did shipping containers succeed because of the breadth of its standardization created an ISO standard. It was 10 years from the start of the metal shipping container until there was international standard.

Basically, the data center industry was a "concrete" thinker in using shipping containers. The shipping container in transportation is "abstract" as a standard that has wide adoption in the industry and there were many other little things that happened like a unique ID standard for identifying each container. Cargo loading shifted from a decentralized in the bowels of the ship wedging cargo in what appears to be the most efficient to a central planning operation of how to plan for ports of call, refrigerated containers, hazardous material, etc. Computer software was now applied to the detailed planning of container movement from manufacturer to rail/truck to port to ship to destination port to rail/truck all with a container never being opened.

Made my pizza dough so much better, reflecting on why it wasn't as good as Serious Pie

After years I've finally made my pizza as good as Serious Pie. At the beginning I didn't make my own dough. Now I do and it isn't that hard, making 12 dough balls in two batches and freezing the dough.

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First what is the pizza dough recipe I use. Woodstone's home recipe which is here. I may try to use an old dough like in the restaurant version which is here.

Meeting Tom Douglas I asked him about what I needed to work on for better pizza and he said it was all about the crust.

My pizza was good, but not great. Something was wrong. Watching Alton Brown's old show Good Eats I figured out. My yeast was old. The recipe only asks for 1/2 teaspoon so you tend not to think about it. Got new yeast and yep dough is so much better. Below is after I let the dough defrost from the freezer and rise at room temperature. Tip: don't keep your yeast for more than 12 months, may only 6. You can test the yeast and see if it is still active.

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If you want to get other tips on better dough Woodstone has this link.

Ingredients

One of the most frequently asked questions from both our residential and commercial customers is: “How do we get thinner/thicker/better dough for our pizza?” Here is what we know.

Elements that dictate the results for the desired texture of your dough: GLUTEN; PROTEINS; WATER; & THE MIXING/KNEADING TIME OF THE DOUGH

The Wood Stone dough recipe (found on the recipe page) is easy to work with, creates a fairly thin crust if desired and is very moist without sticking to your work surface. If this recipe is not what you are looking for, use the recommendations below to try different levels of protein and gluten. The proportions should not change although if you prefer less-chewy dough you could use all bread flour (no semolina) or substitute all purpose flour for the semolina.

1 Cup Bread Flour = 1 C + 1 ½ T, All Purpose Flour

Three Styles of Crust

  1. Crispy Crust (thin or thicker crust): Lower gluten (as low as 7.5% is available), a wetter dough (without being sticky), protein content can be the same or lower (for less chewy dough), and oven temperatures between 550-600 degrees.
    • Lower temperature for thicker crust (needs to cook longer, 5-7 minutes)
    • Higher temperature for thin crust (quicker bake, 3-4 minutes)
    • Minimal toppings and sauce: the more “stuff” you have on the pizza the longer it will take to cook and the less crispy it will be.
  2. Cracker Crisp Crust: low protein (10.5-11.5) low gluten flour, longer mixing time (12 minutes) better developed dough.
  3. Thick and Chewy Crust: Gluten in the range of 12-13% and a bit dryer dough, higher protein as well as a lower oven temperature (525-550 degrees) and longer cooking times (6-9 minutes). Use a larger dough ball if using our dough. This is a good style if you like more toppings and sauce on your pizza.

Looking At Proteins and Glutens

(Proteins and Glutens are found naturally in wheat and other types of grain)

  • Higher Protein Crust = chewy texture, bread flours will have a good amount of protein for this
    and durum wheat has the most (but has no gluten). The longer it takes to develop the gluten the
    longer the mixing time.
  • Lower Protein Crust = All Purpose Flour will be better here, giving a less chewy dough.
  • More Gluten Crust = Softer dough and good for thicker or more bready crust.
  • Less Gluten Crust = Crisper and good with thinner cracker-like crust.
  • Oil Crust = Helps tenderize the dough but can cause it to burn quicker in the oven. Olive oil
    makes up 1% of our ingredient profile.

Flour

Flours used by Wood Stone:

  • Gold Medal Superlative (bread flour with 12.4-12.6% gluten and good protein)
  • Semolina (highest protein)
  • Water (enough to make very moist dough that is just dry enough to work with, without sticking)
  • Yeast (very small amount for a slow, refrigerated, 24 hour rise).

Name Brand Flours
(All name brand flours have websites where gluten percentages are posted.)

  • Wood Stone uses General Mills (Gold Medal Superlative Bread Flour) and Semolina. They have a variety of options for less gluten as well.
  • King Arthur makes a variety of bread and all purpose flours. They also have Italian Style flour with 7.4% gluten.
  • Pillsbury has all-purpose flour with 10-11% gluten and bread flour with more gluten that will still give you good “chew”.

Other Tips:

  • Keep your sauce, cheese and toppings to a minimum. Putting a lot of sauce on your pizza will make your pizza soggy; a lot of cheese will make it greasy and heavy; overloading the toppings will weigh down the pizza.
  • Transfer the pizza from the oven to a “pizza screen” or baking rack before putting it on a cutting surface. Let it rest for 1 minute to set the ingredients before cutting. The screen will keep the pizza from steaming and getting moist on the bottom. This is also a good way to cool a pizza if you don’t plan on eating it right away.
  • Keep your work surface clean of moisture and debris.
  • Have all your pizza ingredients prepared ahead of time and close to your work space.
  • Roasting vegetables and other ingredients before putting them on the pizza will give your pizza better flavor.
  • If your dough is over proofed (bubbly, sticky and is tearing) it will be hard to get the desired results. If you use a 24 hour rise dough, it is important to hold the dough in a cold refrigerator or it will proof too quickly.
  • Bringing dough to room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes will help the dough brown better in the oven.

A visit to Amazon Go, the really hard part is tracking of people

I was at University of Washington today meeting with a supply chain professor and had time to add a visit to the Amazon Go store. The store is next to Amazon domes.

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Before I went I found this coconut cake I wanted to try. I also picked up a drink, chips, and a sandwich.

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what was interesting is the 2D code that amazon packaged items had versus a UPC code. Which then got me to think that there are cameras pointing from the bottom and surrounding areas to read the UPC code and detect it gets moved to your bag. When you put it back it removes from your cart. OK. easy.

Then i thought what is the hard part is uniquely identifying all the people. When you look at the the number of cameras it makes sense to track the people. See this Arstechnica article for more details.

So basically by watching me. Amazon know my height. Can guess my weight. Can track my movements. How i walk. Facial recognition. Most likely. I have now been cataloged by Amazon. tracking thousands of people a day as unique individuals is much harder than tracking a few hundred grocery skus with known locations and bar codes.

I will go back to the Amazon store with a Microsoft friend and do a walk through. Yes I still a friend at Microsoft. :-). 

The store was interesting and got me thinking of some new stuff.  But actually my talk with University of Washington Supply Chain Professor was 10X more valuable. But I am keeping that conversation to myself and friends.

Bill Hunter transitions from Gone Fishing to TBHE Consulting LLC

I've known Bill Hunter since his days at AT&T, then Disney, then Amazon. We would keep in touch socially and most of time stay away from company talk especially when he worked for Amazon. In 2016, Bill left AWS after 5 years and he changed his LinkedIn profile to Chief Fisherman and "gone fishing."

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Today Bill updated his LinkedIn profile to Consultant/Owner, "TBHE Consulting LLC." Bill and I are both in the Seattle area and we chat about the industry much more often now that he isn't traveling the world for whatever he was doing at AWS.

Know many of you have been asking what Bill is going to do when he left AWS. Now you can contact him on LinkedIn.

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