I recently gave a presentation on Home Automation to a room full of engineers/programmers. I was asked several times to share the presentation.
The state of home automation has improved greatly since a decade ago when I threw all my X-10 stuff into a box and left it to rot. H.A. still requires an engineer/geek to set up, but it’s far better than a decade ago. It’s not hard to see that in another year or two, setting up home automation will be attainable by non-geeks.
I just received this note:
(Killer will get you!)
with my new sword.
— An expression of love from an unnamed young male who lives in my house.
Mountaineers/Climbers that have been to Yosemite, I need your advice.
I’m going to be near Yosemite soon, with two hikers that have reasonable experience with 4th class rock. Our plan is to introduce them to 5th class trad. What I have in mind is something with a variety of low 5th class routes like Mountaineers Dome near Leavenworth. Suggestions?
If you’re a Systems or Network Administrator and you have Windows PCs on your network, this How to find BOTs in a LAN article may be of interest.
I just made Pad Thai for the first time. The results were excellent, thanks to Leela’s thorough instructions over at shesimmers.com. I read all 5 pages a couple times. Then I corralled the missing ingredients from my local Asian market and assembled as instructed.
Notes to myself:
- The 2-burner carbon steel griddle is just right.
- Use ~25% less palm sugar.
- Use the food mill to make paste from the seedless Tamarind.
- Doubling is convenient (1/4 package of Tamarind, 1/2 of sauce, 9 oz. tofu), but fry it in two batches.
I can seldom remember which SSL ciphers to set up, which is why I’m so glad https://cipherli.st exists. That makes it so much easier to get an A rating on the SSL Labs security tests.
In a huge and stunning move, Tesla invites all comers to help themselves to Tesla’s patents: All Our Patents Are Belong You.
Elon is refreshingly candid, explaining exactly why, “Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars.”
In other words, Tesla gathered their patents to protect against competition from the market incumbents (Ford, GM, Toyota, VW, etc.) who are almost entirely disinterested in eCars. Instead, Telsa’s most worrisome problem is a lack of consumption. If Tesla and electric cars are to succeed long term, they need to disrupt gasoline powered cars. To accomplish that, they need a thriving marketplace with strong competitors pushing forward the state of the industry.
I want a Tesla Model X more than ever.
It’s the time of year when I need to sweep the deck of Wisteria blooms daily. Today the kids were home so I called them and their neighbor friend out onto the deck. Then I shook the branches while the Wisteria plant rained petals upon them. I like to think that most any parent would have thought of turning that chore into a game. But the kids took it to the next level.
As soon as I was done shaking the vines and started sweeping them off the deck, they high tailed it down the stairs to the patio so they could relive the experience. When that was over, they loaded the flowers in buckets, carried them back upstairs onto the deck and raining them onto each other again.
Recipe: Blackberry Pie
Yield: 9 or 10″ deep dish pie
- 6 c. Blackberries
- 1/2 c. white sugar
- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 1 tsp. Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. sanding or other large grain sugar
- 1 blind-baked pie crust
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and starch. Reserve 1 cup of berries and fold the rest into the powder until no white powder remains. Set aside to macerate.
- Make the crust. Do *something* to keep the bottom crust from being soggy. Blind baking followed by an egg white wash works well. So does adding a 1/8 layer of oatmeal.
- Taste the filling. Add sugar to taste. Our fresh picked Washington wild blackberries tend to be plump, sweet, and easily crushed. Berries that are firm and/or tart will require more sugar. I prefer the least amount of sugar that will make the berries taste fully ripe.
- Fill the baked crust until just below the rim. Eat the extra filling. Spread the reserved cup of berries on top of the filling. Optionally dot the top of the pie with butter. Spray or sprinkle the lemon juice over the berries.
- Roll out the top crust and cover the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sanding sugar. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
- Place a pie shield over the crust and bake at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until juices start bubbling, about 20-25 min. Cool completely.