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Sun, 01 Feb 2015

Pan Fried Catfish

This always turns out great for me. Sometimes you can use frozen “Swai” fish, which is basically asian catfish.

Mix dry ingredients in a wide, shallow pie plate.

Dip fillet in egg then dredge in bread crumb mixture.

Heat oil over medium/medium-high heat.

Cook 3 minutes one side, flip, 2 minutes other side.

For thicker fish, fry then bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

14:25 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Thu, 08 Jan 2015

Super-M Bluetooth Speaker Review

I’m lacking a home sound system at the moment and I saw the Super-M speaker (and other Nude Audio products). While I usually shy away from things that are battery powered I liked the idea of it being portable and water/sand-proof. When I got delivery notification, I was excited to get back in town and open it.

The first thing that surprised me was the build and packaging quality. The box it came in was annoyingly shameful to throw away. Very high quality plastics and cardboard as well as a custom little rope handle which matched the rope handle of the device itself inside.

It came with a fair amount of charge and I immediately put it to use in the bathroom while showering (however I must admit I wimped out and didn’t put it directly in the water, no need to tempt fate on the first day I had it).

The next surprising thing about it was the size. Indeed it fits very comfortably in your back pocket and the sound is impressive for something so small. If I were to guess taking it out to the open air (beach / sidelines / park) and put it at full volume, you’d be annoyed if you were within 5-10ft of it (due to the volume) and could probably hear it pretty well out to ~50ft. The speaker itself doesn’t really distort at max volume, but it does get a little warbly / muddy because you’re pushing a lot of air from such a small space.

So far I like it because it is super simple to use, gets out of the way, and is about as uncomplicated as you can get. Pair once with Bluetooth. Turn on the speaker, it connects and audio/music starts coming out. Turn off the speaker and you’re disconnected. So far I’ve been storing the speaker in the bathroom to help with my morning routine, but have pulled it out on several occasions to throw music where I want it, at whatever volume is appropriate: mellow / dinner, moderate / doing chores, loud / easily filling the whole apartment.

Bluetooth range is good, but depending on your construction you’ll want line-of-sight to the device. I can turn a random corner in my not-that-big apartment and it’ll start to get scratchy which is slightly disappointing, but what I usually do is just leave the phone next to it instead of carrying it with me.

Solid thumbs up for a durable, loud, portable, versatile speaker. You can tell this thing is built for whatever. Not Otter-Box whatever, but way more than toddler-proof whatever. Read up on it, and if it sounds like it fits your needs then don’t hesitate. Not as cool-looking as the Pulse, but half the price and more durable as well.

09:47 CST | category / entries
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Tue, 02 Dec 2014


Cream wet ingredients, whipping until fluffy.

Blend in eggs, one at a time.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Add by thirds to wet mixture.

Wrap in plastic and cool in fridge (~30m) so dough is slightly hard and can be formed into balls.

Form into balls, roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.

I used less cinnamon, but dusted the cookies with more cinnamon halfway through baking

Bake at 400 degrees for ~10 minutes.

00:53 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Sat, 11 Oct 2014

Strawberry Island Cookies

Sift flour, soda, salt, sugar in a large bowl.

Blend in shortening, egg, pineapple juice.

Dough will be crumbly, try mashing with hands.

Add in rolled oats.

If too dry, slowly add more pineapple juice.

Grease cookie sheet with shortening.

Form dough into balls, press onto cookie sheet forming shallow bowls.

Glaze with egg, sprinkle in sugar, spoon in jam, top with pineaple.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Makes ~2 dozen.

13:40 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Mon, 06 Oct 2014

Award Winning Chili

Brown beef and onions in large bot until beef is brown and onions are transparent.

Add all liquids and seasonings (add reserved kidney bean liquid too!)

Simmer uncovered 1h30m.

Add Beans, simmer 30m.

Serve with raw chopped white onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, optionally over fritos.

23:36 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Fri, 26 Sep 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara (fixed)

don’t let the steps fool you, this is an easy recipe to make, but like all cream-sauces requires a few minutes of frantic movement

Blend milk, eggs, yolks, salt, pepper in a bowl or large mixing cup.

set aside so it can come close to room-temperature (this is your “Chegg”, Cheese + Egg)

Saute bacon until crispy (or cook in oven at 400° for 15-20 minutes)..

reserve at least 2 tbsp bacon drippings / grease

Season water for spaghetti with salted water, chunks of onion, cloves of peeled garlic to taste.

Boil Spaghetti according to package directions.

Just before draining pasta RESERVE 1 CUP PASTA WATER in a glass measuring cup (scoop out / reserve).

IMPORTANT PREP STEP: From this point forward, everything has to be done quickly so that the cheese / egg mixture gets all the heat and comes to a safe temperature and the cheese melts.

Put on the counter, in order, all in the same area:

Drain and set spaghetti aside in serving / mixing bowl.

In the same pot you cooked the spaghetti, heat bacon drippings and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute, whisking rapidly.

this is basically a roux, it should begin to darken and turn brown

Remove pot from heat and quickly perform the following steps.

Dump in Drained Spaghetti, Toss with the bacon drippings mixture.

Dump in Cheese / Egg mixture, Stir.

Dump in Bacon, Stir.

Slowly add some reserved pasta water, Stir.

you want to go from sticky and cheesy here to slightly creamy by adding hot water

Cover the pot with a lid for ~5 minutes (to let egg come to temperature and cheese melt).

Transfer pasta to serving bowl or serve from the pot.

23:20 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Wed, 10 Sep 2014

Sangria, Red

Starting from this recipe as a base, basically add fruity stuff to red wine until it tastes good / different / better.

Mix liquid ingredients.

Chop fruit.

Mix fruit with liquid and let sit in fridge.

To make simple syrup, add 1 cup white sugar to one cup boiling water, and continue heat until clear.

13:14 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Tue, 05 Aug 2014

Summer Slaw

These are rough guidelines.

Taste and season to your liking.

Mix, chill, drain, serve alone or on top of tacos.

22:47 CST | category / entries / recipes
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Wed, 12 Mar 2014

Simple vim Templates

I was messing with my .vimrc and ran across this kindof cool technique which is worth sharing. Templates!

I’m usually not a fan of automatic code generation or templates / snippets but I’ve found a pretty good way to integrate them into my workflow.

" snippet: read in various templates
nmap <leader>t :read ~/bin/vim-template-more-test<cr>
nmap <leader>x :read ~/bin/vim-template-fixme<cr>
nmap <leader>m :read ~/bin/vim-template-perl-module<cr>
nmap <leader>f :read ~/bin/vim-template-perl-function<cr>

…and you’re done! This is about the simplest use of templates and I’m OK with it. Your “templates” are just text files (I store them in my ~/bin directory for convenience), and you wire them up to certain keystrokes.

Since I’ve been writing a lot of perl lately, and perl is notoriously baroque, and DOUBLY so for object-oriented perl, I needed a template to create a “fully proper” OO perl module. PackageName, return 1, bless ( $self, $class ), the full monte that I can’t be bothered to remember every single time I need to make a new module. ,m Bam! Module! ,f Bam! Function!

It has dual benefit of saving keystrokes and making sure I’m getting the basics right.

…but that wouldn’t be the only thing you’d want to do. Another baroque thing about perl is POD documentation (think pre-pre-pre-javadocs). I can never remember the syntax, so I put together a crazy macro which snags the function name under the cursor and starts off a perldoc comment above it. ,d Bam! Documentation!

" snippet: <leader>d == document perl function with crazy perldoc
nmap <leader>d 0/sub /e+1<cr>yiwki=item B<<c-r>"><cr><cr>=cut<esc>ki

And on a final note, here’s another useful macro:

" select previously inserted text
nmap <leader>v `[V`]

…if you’ve been paying attention you can see where this is going.

,f      - insert function template
,v      - select previously inserted text
:s/XXX/functionName/g   - replace placeholder text

But even better:

nmap <leader>F viwx:read ~/bin/vim-template-perl-function<cr>`[V`]:s/XXX/<c-r>"/g<cr>

…and the explanation for those playing along at home:

nmap       - normal mode map
<leader>F  - to capital "F"
viw        - visual inner word
x          - delete it(!)
:read ~/bin/vim-template-perl-function<cr>
`[V`]      - line-select the previously inserted text (begin/end markers)
:s/XXX     - substitute XXX
  /<c-r>"       - recall the paste buffer (what we deleted with 'x')
  /g<cr>        - do it globally

I can’t think of a good reason to not use the initial technique of :nmap <leder>a :read ~/bin/template-a.txt<cr>. It is so clear and generically useful it’s almost a necessity.

The reason to avoid the other two techniques is that you end up with complicated vim macros which can be a pain to maintain. However, they do build on relatively simple predecessors, generally all follow the same pattern, and have huge potential keystroke savings, so I would recommend trying it out.

15:08 CST | category / entries
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Tue, 04 Mar 2014

Banana Nut Bread

Cream shortening and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well.

Sift dry ingredients.

Alternate adding flour mixture and mashed banana to shortening mixture.

Fold in walnuts.

Bake at 350 in a greased loaf-pan.

22:01 CST | category / entries / recipes
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