Monday, November 18, 2013

Meat Loaf sandwich

Help me name this. It truly needs a title more appropriate to it's rightful throne.

Starting in the middle (as you do) pan fried meat loaf. Not any old meat loaf, but meat loaf lovingly prepared by Stacie last night from a combination of deer and pork that I processed this week.

That is topped by a single fried egg (free-range from my chickens of course). I am not a real big egg person, but if I don't put them on everything the bounty overwhelms us.

I figured the sandwich needed a binder to hold it all together, thats where the provolone comes in. Put all of that on toasted multi-grain bread.

I attribute most of the goodness to the meat loaf that was made using an America's Test Kitchen recipe (a PBS show).

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I thought by now you would be able to create extensions for mobile web browsers, but it turns out you can't. I found an alternative to extensions that does what we need and works in mobile browsers too.

They are called Bookmarklets. They are chunks of JavaScript code that can alter a page. You save the JavaScript in a bookmark and anytime you click the bookmark it runs your code. Once set up this worked on every browser I tested.

Create a new bookmark or edit an existing one. Change the name to something you can remember (I recommend InStock) and replace the URL with:

That's all there is to it. Now when you see

Just click your new bookmark and...bam!


Enough Said!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Got a Deer today

Sorry no pictures, everyone knows what a deer looks like. Besides I prefer the pictures where they are upright and in their environment.

The weather was comfortable and next week gun season starts. The deer walked in almost exactly were I thought it would be. I could tell it could sense my presence, It was stomping. My heart was racing, and it was moving through the area faster than I thought it would. I probably shouldn't have taken the shot, I was sitting and I didn't know how far it was. Slow your breathing, steady your bow, thats about 35-40 all happens in slow motion but slipping away from your control, like in a dream. I let the arrow fly and heard a hearty thud sound, you know it when it hits like that. Now the work they say.

Home Made Laundry Powder

There are a ton of recipes out there and they are all very similar. Washing Soda, Borax, and a bar of soap (Fels-Naptha or Ivory). I just have to add a little accumulated knowledge on the subject.

We prefer to keep it as a powder. Making a liquid takes more effort, more space, and it likes to separate. We probably use a little more soap in the end but it is more convenient.

Washing soda is basically dehydrated baking soda. This can be really useful to know if you cant find it. I don't think the price difference is that great, but just in case. To make it yourself just bake a thin layer of Baking Soda at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Look for the texture to change from shiny crystals to a flat (as in not shiny) powder.

You can in fact use this powder in an High Efficiency (HE) washing machine. This soap is not overly sudsy, which is the main issue with HE washers. In fact the amount I tell you to use below is based on my experience using an HE washer, you may need to add more soap for a traditional washing machine or if your water is extremely hard.


Here it is. 1 Cup of Washing Soda, 1Cup of Borax, and one Bar of Fels-Naptha. I heat up the Fels-Naptha in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it a little (which make the house smell awesome), then grate it using a cheese grater. Add all that to a food processor and viola, Laundry Detergent.

You can add all kinds of other stuff if you want, but I think they are all gimmicky to be honest. Oils are the least gimmicky. Five or so drops of essential lavender oil is supposed to make it smell like Tide. My wife loves the smell of Tide, so if you find a perfect recipe let me know.

Just put 1-2 Tablespoons of detergent in the front (with the clothes). Balance the amount of detergent to the load size.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


We got our nine chicks in April, eight Rhode Island Red hens and one Black Sex Link Rooster. The hens where four weeks old and the rooster was two. They all had a fair bit of feathers but it was still getting near freezing so I opted to install a red heat lamp that my neighbor gave me into the coop.

I really underestimated the number of predators that would come around when chickens are present. On the second day, I was checking out the garden and I heard a horrible screeching from behind. I looked towards the noise and saw my little black rooster in the claws of a hawk flying across the yard and into the wood line. Over the next couple of weeks we lost two more, both of which I am pretty sure were from aerial bombardment, a.k.a hawks.

The chickens were all getting to a large enough size that the Hawks were leaving them alone and I was becoming complacent. I asked my son to "put the chickens up" after running outside he told me they put themselves up. What I didn't know was that he didn't realize that the door needed to be locked. We lost three more that night. The case is still unsolved, but our number one suspect is family of raccoons that have been around a few times.

The trashcan and the chicken coop are locked up each night and we haven't had any more problems with predators. It turns out that three chickens was the sweet spot. We get three eggs per day, most days, and not nearly the amount of poop on our patio. That was becoming a real issue for Stacie.

The girls now free range to their hearts content, eating bugs and what not all day long. They are starting to get a reputation as a street gang, bullying folks when they come over.

Free Feathercoins

I recently did a little experiment in mining cryptocurrencies. It started with Bitcoins, but that turned out to be not profitable because of purpose built ASIC mining hardware. Scrypt based currencies are harder to process so you can sort of be profitable using a modern Radeon GPU. For no real particular reason I picked Feathercoin.

My goal was to see how much hardware you really needed to be profitable. I used my Radeon 6870 and an older computer running Linux. I turns out that I was able to get about $8.00 USD worth of Feathercoins in 17 days. I estimate the electricity I used to run the computer probably cost me about $10.00. So yeah, I spent $2.00 to get 100 Feathercoins.

To be fair a 6870 is not exactly cutting edge. If I had a 7990, I would have made approximately 4 times as many coins for about the same amount of electricity. Unless you already have the hardware, or can get it for dirt cheap, I don't think it make a lot of sense.

So ends my experiment, and the reason for the title of this post. I have just over 100 Feathercoins and I can't find anything to spend them on. So if you want a Feathercoin, let me know. I will hand them out till they are all gone. Don't be greedy, this is all about the novelty of digital gifts.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chicken Coop

It was April, our baby was just born, and I decided this was the year I was going to get chickens. I have been wanting to keep chickens for a few years, but just couldn't bring myself to build a coop fearing it would be inadequate and I would throw lots of money away.

The chicks were hatching at our friends farm, Duda-Lang Farms and they had exactly what I wanted to start off with, Rhode Island Reds that were 4 weeks old. Deciding that no time was a good as the present we went ahead and ordered a large chicken coop from Snap Lock Chicken Coops. I built a base with legs from scrap 4x4 cedar posts and a ramp from some old plywood and 1x2 lumber.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Welcome to my blog! This is going to be a place where I can chronicle my attempts a becoming more self-sufficient. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes :)