Friday, October 30, 2009

(Candy) Corn on the (Twinkie) Cob

Mmmm, mmmm. What a delightful halloween party treat! Just be sure to bring them out near the end of the party when the neighbor kids can bounce off the walls at their own house.

I think a nice finish might be some melted honey butter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

iHeart Radio Buffering solved

I downloaded iHeart Radio to my iPod Touch while I was at work. It performed flawlessly. It was great. Then I got home and tried it. No joy. It would just sit at buffering. When I snuck on the neighbor's WiFi, it worked. So I figured it must be something with my network. I ran the sniffer and figured out it was something with my Squid Web Proxy that runs on my ClarkConnect home gateway.

The problem was solved by adding the following two entries to the web site proxy by-pass configuration:

January 6, 2010 update:

I have had to further refine my proxy bypass configuration.
I now have the following 2 subnets defined in the proxy site bypass:



  • - added on January 26, 2010

I'm pretty sure this is a bug in the app, since a colleague running a different web proxy at home does not have the same trouble. Comparing his network trace to mine seem to suggests that anyway. iHeart Radio does not handle the response from the proxy correctly. Hopefully they will fix it, but for now at least, I am good to go.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey cake

With Thanksgiving coming up, I though I would share a turkey cake we made a couple years ago.

  • Two hemi-spherical cake pans were used for the body.
  • Two sugar cones were used for the drumsticks.
  • White paper was used to make the frilly things on the end of the drumsticks.
We used a pound cake recipe for the body to give it some heft. The sugar cones had to be trimmed at an angle to lay nicely along the body. This was tricky as they break rather easily. But hey, that's what the bond-o, I mean frosting is for.

The entire 'bird' (include drumsticks) was frosted with white frosting. Brown sugar was used to give it that golden-brown, pitcure-perfect 'Butterball' look.

Post links to pictures of your bird in the comments...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bike light battery

Here is a very well documented project, right up my alley...

Universal Bike Light Battery

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fried m&m's

Yes, you read that right. Fried m&m's. Delicious.

Put them in the frying pan on low heat.

After a couple minutes, you will see and hear the candy shell crack. You can stir them gently and flip them over for even heating.

The idea is to get the chocolate to melt. After 3-4 minutes, you are left with a crunchy candy shell and melted chocolaty goodness! Yum!

Please be careful not to burn your mouth in case the chocolate gets too hot.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pretzel jar terrarium

Here are a couple terrariums we made out of pretzel jars (WD-40 works really well at getting the label/glue off).

There are instructions all over the internet for making a terrarium. Basically, put down a layer of pea gravel, some aquarium charcoal, then the dirt. Choose a small plant and add some water. Finally, close it up.

Place the terrarium out of direct sunlight. You need to monitor the moisture, and open the lid if there is too much. These are not doing that great anymore, but it has been 8 or 9 months since we made them.

Close-up of the gravel, charcoal, dirt layers

Since this one was horizontal, we also made the little stand for it. And no, the creatures are not real.

Any more ideas for old pretzel jars? Leave a comment...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fruit fly trap

A few folks I work with buy those huge jars of pretzels for all in the cube fields to enjoy. These plastic jars have nice wide mouths. A few months back, the building had a fruit fly problem. A little googling lead me to various trap designs from bowls, ziplock bags, glass jars and even your oven.

I settled on the funnel method and recycled one of the pretzel jars. Here is how you do it:
  1. Clean the salt out of the jar
  2. Cut a hole in the lid almost all the way to the edge
  3. Cut a half-circle out of a piece of paper with a radius equal to slightly larger (1/8") than the diameter of the hole in the lid
  4. Cut out a small semi-circle (quarter-sized) at the center to make the small opening for the funnel
  5. Form a funnel, the wide opening should just be larger than the hole in the lid
  6. Tape the funnel to hold it securely
  7. Hot glue the funnel inverted in the lid making sure it is completely sealed
  8. Put some fruit (banana, etc.) in and screw the lid on (I used a Styrofoam tray to put the banana on to keep the jar from getting nasty.)
  9. Set the jar out.
  10. Enjoy the satisfying feeling that you are getting rid of a pest.
Closeup of the installed funnel.

Closeup of the funnel hot glued into the lid.

Here is my trap.

I made the sign to stave off questions about what the thing is. The font is used as a warning to the flies. It worked beautifully, though building services took care of the bug problem a couple days after my trap was put up. But now I am ready for the next infestation.