Homemade Pumpkin Pie

November 29th, 2013 Comments Off

Inspired by http://www.pickyourown.org/pumpkinpie.php and http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/suzannes_old_fashioned_pumpkin_pie/

  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a pumpkin or from canned pumpkin purée
  • 12 oz. of evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of “pumpkin pie spice”
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 1 good crust (2 cup sized crusts are nice, you get more pies)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350
  2. Cook the crusts at 350 for 5-10 minutes, until they are just starting to dry
  3. Turn the oven up to 425
  4. Put all of the above ingredients into a high-powered blender (blendtec or vitamix) (you’ll get about 5 cups of filling)
  5. Wrap the edges of the crusts with aluminum foil to prevent them from getting burnt
  6. Pour the pie filling into the pie crusts
  7. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes
  8. Cook at 350 for 40-50 minutes then more until a metal knife inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean (usually another 20 minutes)
  9. Let em cool

Heavy whipping cream plus a little maple syrup is easy to whip up into a good topping.

Bridges and Boats

April 24th, 2013 Comments Off

It’s not every day that you get to watch a huge amount of metal moving around. This video does not quite do it justice, it’s missing the groaning noises that the bridge made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Mp3′s from Soundcloud

April 18th, 2013 Comments Off

It’s interesting that video and music streaming sites work to prevent you from playing the content they send to your computer from other players besides the one embedded in your browser. It makes sense, if you only play the file from the player on their site in your browser the site and the artist have control over when the file can be played and when it’s not available, as well as where it can/can’t be played.

There is always a way to move the file they send to a player on your computer. Once you know where the file is stored on your computer you can copy it over to a place your favorite player knows about. Alternatively, you can usually download the file when you find the url that the browser’s player is using. Below are screenshots that show two ways to find that url for media on SoundCloud using Google Chrome’s page inspector. Paste these urls into an open browser tab and your browser will open the file. Save the page that opens and you’ll have a normal mp3 that you can again copy into your favorite music player.

Update:

Another way to do this with a little less effort: Inspect the page, open up the network tab on the inspector, reload the page, play the file, and then watch for a file that grows over time. The rest of the resources on the page have finished loading, the mp3 file will take some time and you can see it transferring. Right click on the requests address, copy the address, open it in a new tab and you are downloading the mp3 file directly.

 

Beirut – The Concubine

April 18th, 2012 Comments Off

Trumpet (actual pitches):

B major scale:

B XXX / C# OXX / D# XOO / E OXO /
F# OXX / G# XOO / A# OOO / B XXO

Beirut Gulag Orkestar

April 18th, 2012 Comments Off

Trumpet (actual pitches):

D minor scale:

D XOX / E OXO / F OOO / G XXO / A OXO / A# OOO / C XOO / D OOO

Beirut St. Apollonia

April 15th, 2012 Comments Off

Trumpet Introduction (actual pitches):

C minor Scale:

C XOX / D XXO / D# XOO / F OOO / G XXO / G# XOO /
A# OOO / C XOO / D OOO / D# XOO / F OOD

Intro: C F G G# G F G# G F G F G F G# A# G# G
Body: G G# A# . . G# G A# . G# G
G# . G F G# . G F G# . G F F G

Bb Trumpet Fingering Chart

April 2nd, 2012 Comments Off

C Scale (Bb scale on a piano)

C --- / D --- / E --- / F --- / G XOX / A XXO / B OXO / C OOO
C OOO / D XOX / E XXO / F XOO / G OOO / A XXO / B OXO / C OOO
C OOO / D XOO / E OOO / F XXO / G OOO / A XXO / B OXO / C OOO
C OOO / D XOO / E OOO / F XOO / G OOO

Chicago Activities

March 24th, 2012 Comments Off

Some friends and I took a few minutes to think of fun and unusual things to do in Chicago with groups of people. Here’s what we came up with:

Julie:

  • Lay out a blanket picnic on Logan Boulevard.
  • Bike riding on the lakefront.
  • Frisbee in Humboldt Park.
  • Drink whiskey cocktails outside at Longman and Eagle.
  • Drive out of town with the windows down.

Sean:

  • Visit the Bean (touristy but cool, out-of-towner’s dig it.)
  • Get Cocktail or beer at the signature room on the 95th floor of the hancock
  • Eat deep dish pizza… also touristy but delicious
  • See a comedy show (improv, standup, main-stage)
  • Take an architectural boat tour on the river
  • Take a tour of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses in Hyde Park or Oak Park
  • Walk through a Street fair

David:

  • Make a bonfire at Hyde Park and cook meat
  • Stroll around North Pond (and visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory)
  • Kayak on the lake the Lincoln Park Boat Club
  • Rent a bike by the Nature Museum, and ride it downtown
  • Visit the *94th* floor of the Hancock tower – there’s a part where you’re actually outside. There’s also a cafe up there, which is cheaper than the $15 drinks in the Signature Room.
  • Get drinks at the ROOF at the Wit

Crowdfunding Heating Up

May 7th, 2011 Comments Off

I ran into Paul Spinrad’s recent update on crowdfunding.  Things are starting to heat up around this topic.  There are discussions going on with Whoopi Goldberg, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Fiscal Times, and The Washington Times.  Good stuff!

Building Distance Queries with Rails 3 without Geokit

October 12th, 2010 § 12

Geokit has been useful plugin for several geography related tasks in HaveMyShift.  It’s got great geocoding support, handling multiple types of queries and multiple geodata providers.  It gives you an easy interface for adding distance clauses to ActiveRecord queries.  It was also one of the first plugins I hacked to extend its functionality, I learned a lot by reading through the source.

Geokit is pretty deeply integrated with the way Active Record’s builds queries so it’s not surprising that Andre and Bill has not yet been able to get it fully working with Active Record and Rails 3.  I recently upgraded HaveMyShift to rails 3 and faced the question of how to go forward without a fully functional Geokit.  Geokit’s geocoding support came through the upgrade nicely, Google’s maps data API still returns high quality location data for my user generated address queries.  My main use of the plugin though has been finding the set of records within a variable distance from another record based on the latitude and longitude of each record.  This gets right to the core of how Geokit inserts SQL into Active Record queries before they are sent to the database.

Theres no easy way to port Geokit to Active Record 3.x, the way queries are composed has changed significantly.  Among other things, Active Record now supports chaining conditions for queries and does not actually evaluate the query until it needs the data that the query would return.  The rub here is that even if you get a Geokit based distance query working on a rails 3 app, you lose some of this neat functionality in Active Record 3.

I realized I could get a lot of the Geokit functionality I need and keep Active Record running on all cylinders by putting distance conditions into a Active Record Scope.  Here’s an example from my user model:

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