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Nac Mac Feegle

Profile Information

Name: Rob Anybody
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Phoenix
Home country: U.S.
Member since: Sun May 19, 2013, 08:24 PM
Number of posts: 187

Journal Archives

Starting to play with Arduinos. Recommendation needed for C language learning.

I'm a hardware guy. Long time electronic communication tech. Now I have some things that'd be fairly useful if a microcontroller was attached.

I've only had an overview course on C a long time ago, and now I need to learn how to make the Arduino do what I want.

I need guidance on where to start to get into the language. Book recommendations, whatever.

Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Thu Jun 4, 2015, 11:21 PM (9 replies)

Camp cooking - Need a few suggestions

It's been a long time since I've ben able to dig out the dutch ovens and go wild. Have an opportunity to do a couple meals (supper). I need a few suggestions for a main dish and some sides.

I have charcoal and real dutch ovens (the cast iron kind with the legs). I also have a gas burner and a small gas barbecue. I'll have plenty of prep room and a couple of coolers for storage of cold items. We have 5 guys total on a project for work, and we're all just crazy enough to think this sort of stuff is fun.

We're also going to be about 8000 feet above sea level, and quite a long way from a grocery store. So getting everything prepared and ready before leaving is neccesary.

It's been so long since I've done this that I don't remember anything other than a cobbler and a cornbread, but that's only one night, maybe two if we have leftovers.
Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Thu May 7, 2015, 11:56 PM (9 replies)

What are you doing for pie (pi) day

This only happens once a century. The date and time come out to the first ten digits.

This calls for something special. Get your (mathematical) freak on, everybody.

No slackers!!!!!

Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Fri Mar 13, 2015, 09:55 PM (2 replies)

A Friday "Feel Good" that we all could use:

http://hothardware.com/news/tony-stark-delivers-3d-printed-bionic-arm-to-7-year-old-iron-man-fan

A little dusty in here.
Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Fri Mar 13, 2015, 09:46 AM (1 replies)

Beloved British Author Terry Pratchett passes away

Source: Agence-France Press, via RawStory.com

ritish author Terry Pratchett, creator of the science fantasy Discworld novels, died on Thursday aged 66 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, his publishers said.

Pratchett, who sold over 85 million books worldwide, “passed away in his home with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family”, said Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld Publishers.

“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” Finlay said, adding: “Terry enriched the planet like few before him… his legacy will endure for decades to come.”

After being diagnosed in 2007 with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s, which he called an “embuggerance”, Pratchett campaigned to raise awareness and reduce the stigma related to the disease.

Pratchett won worldwide fame and a cult following with his Discworld novels about a flat, parallel universe balanced on the back of four elephants which themselves stand on the shell of a giant turtle.

He wrote the first book in the series, “The Colour of Magic”, in the late 1960s although it was not published until 1983. The 41st book was completed last summer, before he succumbed to the final stages of his disease.

A fan of science fiction and conventions from his youth, Pratchett wrote his first Discworld novel to make fun of the rival fantasy genre — but the target of his satire grew to include all the world around him.

“As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirise this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention,” Finlay said.

After her father’s death, Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna referred to one of the recurring characters in the Discworld novels, Death, a strangely endearing creature who is fond of cats — and whose utterances on the page are written in Caps.

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER,” she tweeted. “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

- Passion, resilience and courage -

Pratchett wrote more than 70 books over the course of his career, and Finlay said that in the last few difficult years, “it was his writing that sustained him”.

He found it difficult to type and so switched to dictating to his computer, refusing to let his disease silence him.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/beloved-british-author-terry-pratchett-dies-aged-66/



An author of great wit and compassion. who taught by using the wonderfully powerful tool of satire.

He will be missed... Greatly.
Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Thu Mar 12, 2015, 02:53 PM (1 replies)

Just got my French bread formula dialed in: Here it is

The sponge method is a pre-ferment process for making bread that increases the flavor dramatically. A part of the dough is mixed up and left to ferment, producing a much more flavorful bread in the end. It's been described as a 'half-step' to sourdough.

Sponge Method Baguette / Boule formula.

Sponge

Flour 16 oz
Water 10 oz
Yeast 0.6 oz
Sugar 1.5 oz or 1 fl. oz Malt syrup

Mix Sponge ingredients together in mixing bowl of stand mixer (can be done with a fork), cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a dish towel, and set aside to ferment.

The sponge should get foamy and rise to 3 to 5 times the original volume. The Sponge process is considered 65% done when the sponge 'breaks'; when it has risen all it will, and then starts to shrink back down. If it breaks after 6 hours, you still have 3 hours left. Any additional fermenting time adds to the flavor, which is why I like to do this the night before I plan to bake. Using the mixer bowl just saves time and dishes. This will be a sticky mess also, so using the mixer bowl saves on the hassle of transferring it.

Dough

Flour 9 oz
Water 6 ½ oz
Milk solids .75 oz
Shortening .75 oz / 2 Tbsp oil
Salt 0.6 oz


Add water, milk solids (dry milk powder) and 1/3rd of remaining flour to mixer bowl, attach dough hook, and mix on low speed.

As flour is incorporated, slowly add remaining flour, to keep from getting flour all over the place.

When flour is fully mixed in, knead for 5 minutes, scraping down bowl and hook as needed. Add oil and salt, and continue kneading for 5 more minutes.

Transfer to a large, greased bowl (sprayed with release spray, like Pam), form into a ball, and spray top of dough ball with release.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and dish towel from first section of process, and set aside in draft free location.

Set aside to rise, until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hour at 75 F, a longer time if cooler environment.

Knead down (a process called 'punching') the dough mass and transfer out onto floured surface to cut into four equal portions. Form into baguette type long, thin rolls or into a ball for Boules on a surface dusted with cornmeal (traditional).

Score each loaf with a very sharp blade to prevent crust splits when baking, cutting about 1/4 inch through top of dough.

Mist or sprinkle water over top of crust to prevent drying, cover with damp towel or plastic wrap, and let loaves proof for 30 minutes.

While loaves are proofing, place oven safe metal pan on bottom rack, set another rack to middle position, and preheat oven to 400F. for conventional or 375F for convection. Get cup with approximately 16 oz water ready, and place handy to oven.

When oven is well preheated and dough is ready; uncover dough, open oven door, place dough on middle rack, pour water into pan on bottom rack and close door. This will create a steamy environment in the oven, which creates a much nicer crust.

Bake for 20 minutes conventional, 14 minutes convection, or until crust is golden, depending on your individual ovens' peculiarities, and remove to cooling rack.

Restrain self until cool enough to handle, then what you do is your business.



Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:32 PM (6 replies)

A serious proposition:

The end-game of the attacks in Paris seems to be to provoke anti-Muslim backlash as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda.

Let's deny them of that.

Instead of letting the fear mongers go all 'Medieval' on Islam, how about we support them?

Show one group of people that have a problem with a bunch of assholes co-opting their religion for power games that everyone isn't a bunch if frightened fools.

It's not going to be difficult. It might even be educational.

Go by that grocery store with the weird fluid script on the window, or into that restaurant that has the reference to Ali Baba or Desert Sands or Persia, and try something new. Do some internet research for recipes, dishes, and Halal rules, so you can make an intelligent choice.

A few basic tips:

Halal is the just same as Kosher.

Hummus is awesome: Chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic, olive oil, and lemon blended into a paste and served as a dip with a flat bread.

Dolmas; the same as Greek Dolmades. Rice ans spices wrapped in grape leaves.

Falafel (Bill O'riley's nemesis): A small ball of chickpea and spices, fried and served with a yogurt - cucumber sauce.

Kebabs: Various types of meat pieces and spices on a stick and cooked over a flame.

Shawarma: An Egyptian origin meat dish over a wonderful rice.

Gyros: A staple Middle Eastern / Mediterranean thin sliced meat combination.

Baklavah: A little bite of Heaven. Layers of paper-thin dough with nuts and honey. Not to be missed.

There are innumerable others, but these are just a few 'off the top of my head' that can be an introduction. The spices are wonderfully different, the preparations and combinations are exotic, and the people are just people, the same as you and me.

Try something different; you might like it, and learn something.


Prove that not everyone is an idiot.

Tell the terrorists to go F*%K themselves.


DO NOT BE AFRAID.


That's what they want.

Frightened people can be stampeded into very poor decisions.

Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:40 PM (2 replies)

Roasting vegetables

I came across this article that started me thinking.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2014/12/roasting_vegetables_history_when_did_this_technique_overtake_boiling.html

It talks about how the 'traditional' method of treating veggies has been the wet cooking methods; boiling or steaming. With few exceptions, that is how we all grew up eating them, except for the occasional baked potatoes.

A few years ago, I read a Celebrity Chef Thanksgiving article where the Chef recommended that the turkey be roasted on a bed of vegetables, rather than a rack. The veggies would flavor the drippings for the gravy. I tried it. And liked it. The drippings were flavored , the vegetables were flavored, and surprisingly tasty. I repeated the 'trick' with other meats and veggies with great success. From a start of the classic 'mirepoix' ingredients, I added potatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes until the pile of veggies is larger than some of the roasts.

Then one evening, I decided to play with some baby red potatoes that needed to be used up. I cut them up into small bite size pieces, quarter or thirds, coated them in olive oil, and just rummaged through the spice rack before tossing them in the oven. There were some left from the meal, but they disappeared mysteriously over the next couple hours. A few by my own hand admittedly, but these were good.

The article got me to thinking over the last few weeks: What's wrong with roasting the vegetables? They taste wonderful, you only need a sheet pan and some oil, you have a hot oven. Why not intensify the flavors instead of diluting them? We still get them hot enough to break down the fibers for easy chewing, so where's the downside? It could even be done on a grill.

Here are a couple of simple things that I've done, you are free to adapt as you see fit.

BBQ:

Slice a sweet onion (Vidalia, Arizona Sweet, etc...) into thick rounds, about 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on the 'cool' side of the coal bed until done, flipping halfway through. Serve as a side.

Slice zucchini (or other squash) lengthwise, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and grill until cooked. Turn if you want grill marks.


Inside:

Heat a regular oven to 350 or convection oven to 325.

Baby Red potatoes, cut into small bite size pieces; 2, 3, or 4 per spud depending on size.

Put into large bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and toss until all are thinly coated.

Spread out on a sheet pan or cookie sheet in a single layer.

Rummage through your spice collection for whatever seems like it might work, and sprinkle over the potato bits. I settled on a Greek Seasoning that had somehow gotten into mine, plus garlic powder, sweet basil, a lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper.
The lemon in the Greek and lemon pepper seasoning mixes seems to work really well with the potatoes. Maybe I'll try some grated lemon zest when the lemon tree comes on next fall.

Bake for 20 - 25 min convection or 30 - 35 min conventional oven, stirring about halfway through. Check about 5 to 10 minutes before end time in case they're already doe.

This is a "wing it" recipe, that can be adjusted for circumstances, such as number of potatoes, their size, and oven conditions. One suggestion that I want to try is to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on them for the last few minutes.


Let's start giving the veggies a little love and respect instead of boiling them into soggy mush.

Add your ideas and recipes, we're all in this together.
Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Mon Jan 5, 2015, 05:03 PM (11 replies)

Bumper stickers / Protest signs I'd like to see

I'd like to be able to show up at a protest with this:

We are NOT anti-police.
We ARE anti asshole with a badge.




I'd like this bumper sticker:

I REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR


I'm tired of those so frightened of everything that they need to carry (openly or not) firearms and have a stockpile at home enough to supply a division. Frightened people are easily stampeded into bad decisions.


Add tour own, maybe we can get them used somewhere sometime.


Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Thu Dec 25, 2014, 09:53 PM (2 replies)

The Grand Canyon fills with fog

Found this while surfing the Web.

An unusual temperature inversion coupled with moisture creates rare and beautiful spectacle.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=876078382436261

Posted by Nac Mac Feegle | Sun Dec 14, 2014, 12:49 PM (1 replies)
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