Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Picasa for Mac coming soon...

Lifehacker reports that Mac lovers out there might soon get a copy of Picasa. This plus my new-found bandwidth at home might just spell the end for my 5+ years of Flickr. With rumors flying about buyouts and staffing cuts, I'd sure hate to get the heave-ho without prior knowledge. I have over 4k images up on Flickr and haven't backed them up for a year or so.

Maybe I'll get lucky and the Mac version of Picasa will have an import feature directly from Flickr =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DIY Peppermint Patties

More holiday recipes from The Kitchn.

DIY Peppermint Patties
2 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp softened butter
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cream
8 ounces (about 1-1/3 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable shorteningPreparation:
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or a silpat. In a blender, cream together the sugar, butter, extracts, and cream on low speed. After the ingredients are combined, raise the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture holds together very well and is creamy, not powdery.Using a teaspoon, roll the candy into small balls and flatten them on the wax paper or silpat with the palm of your hand into patty shapes. When done, put them in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate and the shortening in the microwave or over a double boiler.Using dipping tools or two dinner forks, dip the patties into the chocolate one by one. Drag them across the lip of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Return them to the wax paper or silpat, and place back in the refrigerator to set the candies. They should be ready to eat in a few hours.And that's it! Due to the dairy ingredient, these need to be kept in the refrigerator. Layer the patties between sheets of parchment in an airtight container. They'll last for a month.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rosemary Roasted Cashews

Another from The Kitchn.

1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.

Ginger Cinnamon Caramels

From The Kitchn.

Ginger Cinnamon Caramels
2 cups heavy cream
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 teaspoons fresh-ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ginger extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Line a 9x13 baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and butter generously. Put the cream in a small saucepan and let it warm over low heat.

Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and stir vigorously until the sugar melts and dissolves. Stop stirring and turn the heat to high. Cook until the sugar turns dark amber. Take off the heat.

Whisk in the butter. VERY CAREFULLY pour in the cream and whisk it. The caramel will bubble up furiously and steam. Whisk until well-combined and return to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then turn the heat to medium-low. Clip on the candy thermometer and let the caramel cook until the temperature hits 250°F. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the ginger extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and let it cool.

When it has cooled for a couple hours, put it in the fridge to harden overnight. The next day, cut into small pieces and wrap. These are fine at room temperature. I sprinkled them with fine sugar for an extra little crunch, which was very tasty too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicken Pets

My Pet Chicken is a great site with fantastic information about having pet chickens in your backyard. It's not legal inside many city limits but it sure should be.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hey look, it's August!

Here's the local forecast for the first weekend in August. Wow, what a change from July.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Here is the recipe I used for Mother's Day. I found it via Google at this site.

Here's my recipe:

2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons dry yeast (or two packages of dry yeast)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Canola oil (I use Canola, but you can use any kind of cooking oil) (you can also use shortening, if you prefer)
6 to 7 cups of flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let sit for a minute or two. Add the sugar and salt. Mix. Add the cooking oil (or shortening), 2 eggs, 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth.

Stir in 3 more cups of flour. Begin kneading the dough, adding the final cup of flour. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in more flour, a quarter to a half cup at a time.

Let the dough "rest" for 15 to 20 minutes. (I leave it sitting on the counter and use the time to wash up the bowl and other utensils and to clean off the counter top.)

Roll the dough into a rectangle that's 24 to 30 inches long by about 16 inches wide. Spread with soft butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the wide end, roll into a log.

Cut the cinnamon rolls into equal sized slices (approximately one inch wide each or slightly more) and place into two greased 9x13 pans. Put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown).

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of the pans.

This recipes makes two dozen cinnamon rolls. If you want REALLY BIG cinnamon rolls, cut into 12 equal pieces 2 inches wide.

Total amount of time needed from start to finish (including time to bake) is about 2 hours.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Massachusetts street mob

Well, as expected there was a large crowd on Mass. last night. I have heard stories about cell phones littering the streets from drunken revelers trying to take pictures and video. Here is a great shot from KUSports.com.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rockets Schedule

Here is Joe's baseball schedule and the league website.

Date/Time: Game(Home vs. Visitor):Location:
Tue 4/15/08 6pm - 7:45pm Mavericks vs. Rockets YSI #1
Thu 4/17/08 6pm - 7:45pm Celtics vs. Rockets 4H Fenway
Tue 4/22/08 6pm - 7:45pm Rockets vs. Spurs YSI #1
Fri 4/25/08 6pm - 7:45pm Pacers vs. Rockets YSI #1
Fri 5/2/08 8pm - 9:45pm Rockets vs. Spurs YSI #1
Tue 5/6/08 6pm - 7:45pm Suns vs. Rockets YSI #1
Sat 5/10/08 11am - 12:45pm Pistons vs. Rockets YSI #1
Thu 5/15/08 6pm - 7:45pm Pacers vs. Rockets YSI #1
Fri 5/16/08 8pm - 9:45pm Rockets vs. Celtics YSI #1
Tue 5/20/08 6pm - 7:45pm Suns vs. Rockets YSI #1
Thu 5/29/08 6pm - 7:45pm Spurs vs. Rockets YSI #1
Tue 6/3/08 6pm - 7:45pm Rockets vs. Pistons YSI #1
Thu 6/5/08 8pm - 9:45pm Rockets vs. Pacers YSI #1
Tue 6/10/08 6pm - 7:45pm Rockets vs. Pistons YSI #1
Sat 6/14/08 1pm - 2:45pm Rockets vs. Suns YSI #1
Thu 6/19/08 8pm - 9:45pm Rockets vs. Mavericks YSI #1

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring storms!

Nothing is better than waking up to a spring thunder storm. These rolled through this morning as I was getting coffee. Now if we can just keep the low temperatures above freezing for a stretch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Very good advice about the food you eat

If It Doesn't Rot, Don't Eat It


Web site AlterNet interviews health author Michael Pollon to discuss the state of the food industry and its relation to our health. The interview offers several interesting health tips, but if you're looking for quick and simple rules of thumb to add to your health regimen, Pollon suggests one tip that's sure to help: "don't eat any food that's incapable of rotting." This idea subscribes to the common wisdom that the more processed a food is (and therefore, less susceptible to rot), the less healthy it is. Granted, this isn't an altogether new idea (nor is it without exceptions), but it is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind next time you're reaching into your snack pantry. Check out the article for more useful, common sense tips for staying healthy with your food choices, and share your best healthy-eating rules of thumb in the comments.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wow, I hope this means they are peaking!

Kansas annihilates Texas Tech

March 4, 2008

Russell Robinson's 15 points led No. 5 Kansas to a 109-51 thrashing Monday of Texas Tech in Lawrence, Kan. It was the second time in three games the Red Raiders suffered the most lopsided loss in school history.

Texas Tech (16-13, 7-8 Big 12) lost 98-54 at Texas A&M last week -- at the time the biggest loss in school history. In between the record losses, the Red Raiders upset then-No. 5 Texas 83-80.

For the Jayhawks (27-3, 12-3), it was the biggest victory in a conference game in their storied history. All but one of the 16 players in uniform for Kansas scored.

The victory gave the Jayhawks, who shot 60 percent (40-for-67), a 20-0 record at home. It was the 14th time in the 53-year history of Allen Fieldhouse that Kansas has finished unbeaten at home.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Originally uploaded by loatswil
This makes me laugh every time I look at it. These signs are around the kiddy-pool at the Great Wolf Lodge. I guess someone must have tried to dive into the 1 inch deep water and sued them at some point. So, logically, they should have these all over the floor, even in the hallways.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to Keep Chickens in a City (aka The Urban Chicken Movement)

How to Keep Chickens in a City (aka The Urban Chicken Movement) - Join the "urban chicken movement" and raise your own backyard flock. Chickens are both entertaining and useful to keep. They cost very little to raise and they earn their rent by laying eggs for you. What follows is a brief introduction to keeping chickens within the constraint of an urban environment. [Wiki Howto]

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gas Mileage Rant

Ok, so why is it that in 1988 we can make cars that get 58mpg (1988 Chevrolet Sprint Metro) with a regular internal combustion engine and here we are almost 20 years later getting WORSE mileage with special Hybrid engines?

Check out the federal fuel economy page for proof.

I'll tell you why. People want performance, not gas mileage. And the automakers are certainly willing to give the selfish ME ME ME generation what they want. In 1984 Honda made a 1.3 liter Civic that pumped out 60 horsepower and a whooping 67mpg on the highway (Edmunds). Now in 2006 they squeeze only a mere 50mpg from the 1.3 liter hybrid at 110 horsepower (Edmunds). Just imagine what they could do if the focus was on MPG and not HP.

Of course one of the big selling factors with the new hybrid technology is the environment. If you do a side by side comparison using the federal fuel economy page you will see that the 1.5 liter 1985 Civic, while getting an overall better mileage rating than the 1.3 liter 2006 Civic hybrid, puts out LESS annual greenhouse gas emissions.

It's clear that the auto makers around the world will make what the public demands. It's time the public started demanding something better for the world and not just thinking of themselves. But I guess since global warming is just a myth and there is plenty of oil to go around we don't really need our vehicles to get better mileage. But if we can get better 0-60 times, now that is what is important.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flickr Updated

Great Wolf Lodge 2008
Originally uploaded by loatswil
I uploaded a lot of shots to Flickr yesterday. I have been on a Warcraft kick so I had plenty to do. Here is one from the Great Wolf Lodge series.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Meek And Mild One

The Meek And Mild One
Originally uploaded by shutter-bugg
I either have Spring fever or Winter Flu. The stiff neck and headache might be a clue.

To board or not to board...

Originally uploaded by loatswil
We are going to the Great Wolf Lodge tonight and can't decide whether or not to board ole' Murph. He barks up a storm and annoys the neighbors if we leave him out. But if we lock him in he might tear up the basement. I say we just board him that way we don't have to hurry home either.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blogger Hosting

I have moved hosting to Blogger. I have always been a fan and they are getting to the point where they can offer anything that I can do on Drupal. Only I don't have to update things and rebuild templates and worry about hackers. Plus they are a lot faster and more reliable than Dotster. Of course I still control the DNS so I can always switch back at any time.


Tom's Eagle Pictures

Bald Eagle

Originally uploaded by mallets78

Tom has been at the old outlet mall in Lawrence taking some nice eagle pictures. The eagles sit here near the open water under the Bowersock dam.

Blogger Host

Moving from Drupal to Blogger.